Northshore population boom shows no signs of slowing

Don Ames
April 20, 2017 - 8:57 am

St. Tammany Parish appears on track to keep its title as the state's fastest growing parish. 

The latest census numbers show the population in the parish grew by about 7.5 percent from 2010 to 2016, adding more than 19,000 residents during that period.

Last year alone, the parish added more than 3,600 residents. That's an average of ten new residents per day in 2016.

"I think people like living in St. Tammany because of all the natural assets that we have...the nature that we love so much," says Parish President Pat Brister. "We love for families to get out and enjoy St. Tammany together."

The population growth comes from within and without, through a combination of growing families and new residents. 

The largest groups of migrants came from nearby parishes. But births are also on the rise. The parish birth rate finally topped 3,000 babies in 2016. 

"We say millennials really like the city, New Orleans. But as soon as they start having babies, they want to come to St. Tammany Parish. They like the schools, they like the family atmosphere and all that we have to offer, says Brister. 

And, she notes the median family income has increased by 39 percent since 2006, and the unemployment rate is low.

The parish issued more than 1,100 building permits for single-family homes last year, the highest since 2007. The parish also recorded a 20 percent increase in new business incorporations in 2016.

St. Tammany's continued growth comes as other parishes in the region are seeing more people leave for other parts of the state and country. 

Well over a quarter of a million people now call St. Tammany home.

Residents can see the signs -- namely new homes and retail developments, and increased road traffic.

Brister says the east/west corridor through the parish is I-12, but other alternate routes are quickly becoming necessary to take some of the stress off the interstate.

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