Population booms in Clarksburg, Germantown, according to census
County analysis of census data slowly rolls out
Almost half of Montgomery County's nearly 100,000 new residents in the last decade live in the upcounty.
Increases in 10 upcounty population centers account for 49 percent of Montgomery's total growth from 2000 to 2010, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Clarksburg grew the fastest, by 650 percent, adding 11,932 residents to the 1,834 people who called Clarksburg home in 2000.
Germantown added the most new residents 30,976, for a total 2010 population of 86,395.
Other upcounty areas crew steadily: Gaithersburg added 7,320 new residents and the population in Damascus increased by 3,827. Gaithersburg's 2010 population was 59,933, making it the fourth-most-populous city in Maryland. The 2010 population in Damascus was 15,257.
Rollin Stanley, director of the Montgomery County Planning Department, cautioned that growth in Clarksburg, though striking in percentage terms, was not unexpected.
"Clarksburg was really just starting to get under way," he said. "As a percentage that's a huge increase. But it's way behind the growth in actual numbers in a place like Germantown where the numbers went up by 20,000."
"Anything would be large in terms of percentage" when growth is targeted for the community and the starting population was so small, he added.
Clarksburg is envisioned as a community of 14,930 homes with 43,000 residents within the next decade, according to the community's master plan.
The county's planning department's numbers differ from the Maryland Department of Planning and the U.S. Census Bureau. The county is trying to capture the true growth of a community's population and boundaries, rather than reporting population gains and decreases as a result of census boundary changes. That created some discrepancies in growth figures for some upcounty locations.
By the county's standards, Clarksburg grew by just 480 percent and Germantown added fewer than 20,000 residents. The county reached those figures by using the 2010 census outlines and comparing 2000 and 2010 population numbers within the same boundaries to get the actual change, said Pamela Zorich, a demographics researcher for Montgomery County.
According to census data, Montgomery Village lost 6,019 residents, but that is only because 2,077 homes were shaved from the census boundaries. The true population in the area overseen by the Montgomery Village Foundation, a quasi-governmental umbrella organization that provides services to residents in the unincorporated area, grew by more than 1,600 residents to 32,032 in the last decade, Zorich said.
The planning department will continue to create its own analyses of census numbers over the next few weeks, she said.