County Growing

The 2010 census numbers are in and they show Loudon County has grown in every quarter. The county population as a whole has increased by 9,407. That's an increase of 24.2% making Loudon County the 7th fastest growing county in the state behind, Sevier, Montgomery, Wilson, Fayette, Rutherford and Williamson counties.

Nearly a quarter of the counties population increase was in the Hispanic community. The county's Hispanic population has nearly quadrupled from 894 reported in the 2000 census to 3398 or 7% of the population reported in the 2010 census.

All four cities have also grown since 2000.


                 Population Growth     
  2000 2010 Increase  %Increase 
Loudon County  39,086 48,556 9,407 24.20%
Greenback 954 1064 110 11.50%
Lenoir City  6819 8642 1,823 26.70%
Loudon  4476 5381 905 20.20%
Philadelphia  533 656 123 23.10%

In last decade, Hispanic Population Triples in Loudon County

LOUDON (WATE) - State census numbers released Wednesday show the Hispanic population in Tennessee has more than doubled in the last ten years to 4.6 percent. In Loudon County, the number has tripled to seven percent.

On a sunny afternoon in Loudon County, it's not uncommon to see a group of students playing soccer. They speak both English and Spanish.

"Some of them were born here. Some of them have been here since middle school or elementary school and so they're English is probably as good as mine or yours," said Loudon High School Principal Cheri Parrish.

She has spent the last 12 years at the school where now 10 percent of students are Hispanic.

"Monterrey Mushroom is a big employer of the majority of our Hispanic parents," she said.

The state gives schools an extra year to graduate English language learners, but they have to pass the same exams in English like every other student.

"We have two ELL teachers at the high school and also an interpreter. The interpreter is mainly used to communicate with the parents," Parrish said.

3,400 people in Loudon County marked Hispanic or Latino on their census forms last year. That's seven percent of the county's total population. With the new Mexican restaurant that just opened in September and another new Hispanic store down the road, that number only seems to be growing.

"Over the last 15 years, there's been a huge jump," said Sgt. Bill Evans with the Loudon Police Department.

He was born and raised here, then joined the force in 1996.

"There is a language barrier. Usually, there are children at these residences. They'll help translate," he said.

That's a good thing, because out of more than 35 Loudon officers, only three speak Spanish.

"A call that might be a basic property theft that might have taken 10 or 15 minutes might take you 30 minutes," he explained.

Evans said the department is working on that, with each officer trying to learn as many key Spanish words and phrases as they can.

Evans believes almost all of the Hispanic people he deals with in Loudon are here legally.