A comprehensive report of the 2000 Census shows that in Meridian for the first time there are more minority residents than white residents. It also suggests this trend will continue.
The report uses the 2000 Census and looks ahead to 2010 and 2020. It projects growth in city of Meridian and Lauderdale County but an ever widening gap between the races.
The planning commission says total county population will rise from 78,000 people to nearly 84,000 people in 2010 and approach 95,000 in 2020. The city population is expected to climb to 46,000 in 2010 and about 54,000 in 2020. But of the city's growth only about 2,600 will be white residents while over 11,000 will be African American and other minorities. At that point, 2020, the city of Meridian will be made up of 37.5 percent white residents and 62.5 percent minorities.
Historically, Meridian achieved its largest population in the 1960 Census with 49,374 people while only 18,000 people lived in the county.
The 2020 projection shows the county gaining an additional 16,000 over the 2000 figure with the city getting about 14,000 of that growth.