City's vacant homes increase

Population increased in Newton from 2000 to 2010, but there are more vacant homes within the city's limits.

Newton's latest resident count increased by 408 people, but those people aren't filling up all the city's vacant properties, which increased 63 percent since 2000.

Results from Newton's 2010 census revealed the city's residents increased about 3.2 percent since the last time the population count was conducted 10 years ago. The city's latest population count includes 12,968 residents.

Newton assistant planning director Alex Fulbright said the increasing number of vacant properties within city limits can be attributed to the economic downturn, which occurred since the previous census count in 2010.

The city has 5,605 housing units, which increased from 5,368 units in 2000.

Eighty-nine percent, or 5,105, of the city's housing units are occupied. The remaining 590 units are unoccupied.

Fulbright said the city's population increase was typical growth for the community.

"It was probably on par with what's expected," Fulbright said.

About 73 percent of Newton's population is white, while African Americans represent about 14 percent of the population.

Hispanic or Latino residents account for about 13 percent of Newton's population, according to 2010 census data. That percentage increased from about 9.5 percent in 2000, when about 1,196 Hispanic or Latino people lived in Newton.

Majority of the city's residents are adults, with 75 percent of the city's residents listed as older than 18.

Seventy-nine percent of Newton residents mailed in census forms for the 2010 population count, which is five points higher than the national average. Newton's census return rate was on par with Catawba County's rate, which was at 79 percent.

2010 census data for Newton

Total population: 12,968
Residents older than 18: 9,826
White residents: 9,551
Black residents: 1,804
Hispanic/Latino: 1,678
Asian: 427
American Indian: 47
Vacant housing units: 590
Occupied housing units: 5,105