….cause I’m movin’ out! – B. Joel
According to the University of North Carolina Population Center (yes, this place really exists), Cumberland County had the state’s highest rate of population loss from 2016 to 2017, losing roughly 1,000 residents.
This comes while many counties of similar size and population have emerged from the recession growing faster than ever:
If you’re a local businessman like me, this is a bit unnerving. It’s obvious that Cumberland County rises and falls with the military and Fort Bragg, but what do these trends mean for us in the long run? Other questions arise:
“Will the value of my home decline in 10 years?”
“Is this a good place to raise my children?”
“Am I missing opportunity in a bigger city like Raleigh or Charlotte?”
“Will they have to increase my taxes to make up the difference?”
There are no easy answers. Fayetteville’s strengths hold us back in other ways. Fayette-nam and every chain restaurant known to mankind seem to define our existence. We have cyclical poverty that is entrenched in generations of our population. To top it off, we have a brand new pollution problem.
On a brighter note, it’s still a beautiful place to experience in the Spring. But who’s idea was it to have the Dogwood Festival a month after the dogwoods bloomed? That’s bothered me since I was a little guy.
..if you can’t drive with a broken back, at least you can polish the fenders.
For deeper analysis, see a follow up article in the Fayetteville Observer published after this post was written: