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Chautauqua County Population Continues To Decline

There are fewer people living in the largest cities, towns and villages in Chautauqua County, according to data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau.

All seven of the densest areas — Jamestown, Pomfret, Dunkirk, Fredonia, Ellicott, Busti and Hanover — saw population decreases as of July 1, 2017. The figures are part of the Census Bureau’s annual report of city and county estimates with populations over 7,000 people. Data for all municipalities is reported every 10 years, with the next coming in 2020.

Of the seven reported in Chautauqua County, Fredonia has had the largest population percentage decrease since the official 2010 Census count, from 11,230 people living in the village in 2010 to 10,567 estimated in ’17. In its 2016 estimates, the Census Bureau said 10,801 people were living in the village.

The city of Jamestown continues to see a decline in the number of residents. In 2010, there were 31,146 people living within city limits. That number has dropped to 29,591 estimated people living in Jamestown as of last year, a 5 percent decline in population.

The city’s population, like most municipalities within the county, has seen a continual decline for several decades. The population was at 31,730 in 2000; 34,681 in 1990; 35,775 in 1980; and 39,795 in 1970.

The city’s population height came in the 1930s, when more than 45,000 people called Jamestown home.

The town of Ellicott’s population also has seen a population drop, from 8,714 residents in 2010 to about 8,406 in ’17, a decline of around 3.5 percent.

The smallest population percentage drop within the county, according to the Census Bureau, was in the town of Busti. In 2017, there were 7,270 people living within the town, down from 7,351 in 2010.

In the north county, the city of Dunkirk has went from 12,563 residents in 2010 to about 11,848 last year. In 2016, the Census Bureau estimates there were 12,185 people living in the city.

Hanover’s population has decreased from 7,127 in 2010 to 6,813 in ’17, a decrease of 4.4 percent. In Pomfret, the population has gone from 14,965 in 2010 to an estimated 14,167 currently.

Countywide, the population also has seen a continual decline. The county’s population is estimated at 129,046, down from 131,748 people living here in 2016 and 134,905 in 2010.

In Cattaraugus County, the population went from 78,506 in 2016 to 77,348 as of July 1, 2017. There were more than 80,300 residents in the 2010 Census Bureau count.

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