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9:30am — Census: Bernalillo, Cuba Fastest-Growing in 2008

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandoval County communities also among fastest-growing since 2000 Census.

According to population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau today, the two fastest-growing incorporated communities in New Mexico from 2007 to 2008 were the town of Bernalillo and the village of Cuba, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

Bernalillo grew 17.2 percent over the one-year period, and Cuba jumped 12.9 percent, the Sun-News said.

The figures released today, of course, have nothing to do with the population bulge in the Santa Fe National Forest east of Cuba where the annual Rainbow Gathering is expected to attract up to 10,000 visitors by July 4.

But Cuba has experienced a remarkable growth on its own, growing from a community of 590 residents in 2000 to an estimated 1,358 in 2008 — a jump of 130.2 percent since the last Census, according to the Sun-News report.

The village of Cloudcroft has grown 15.1 percent since 2000, and Chama has increased its population by 12 percent over the same period, according to Census Bureau estimates.

And Rio Rancho remains one of New Mexico’s fastest-growing cities, going from 51,772 in 2000 to an estimated 79,655 in 2008, or an estimated 54 percent, the Sun-News said.

Overall, the population of New Mexico has increased by more than 9 percent since 2000, adding more than 165,000 new residents since the last Census to an estimated 1,984,356 in 2008, but state’s growth from 2007 to 2008 was just 1 percent.

Las Cruces and Dona Ana County continued to enjoy steady population growth, with Las Cruces closing on a population of 92,000 and the county growing to more than 201,000 residents, the Sun-News said.

Las Cruces’ population has grown an estimated 23.5 percent since 2000, while Deming has enjoyed an 8.4 percent growth, from 14,280 in 2000 to an estimated 15,480 in 2008, the paper reported.

The population estimates released today show that Silver City has decreased in population by 2 percent since 2000 and Grant County has lost an estimated 3.7 percent.

Nationally, according to the Census Bureau, the fastest-growing city in 2008 was New Orleans, growing by 8.2 percent to an estimated 311,853, but still below the pre-Katrina Hurricane level of 484,674 found in the 2000 Census.

The second fastest-growing U.S. city was Round Rock, Texas, north of Austin, at 8.16 percent, the Census Bureau release said.

Besides New Orleans, four of the nation’s fastest-growing cities were found in Texas (Round Rock, McKinney, Killeen and Fort Worth), two in North Carolina (Cary and Raleigh), two in California (Roseville and Irvine),and one in Arizona (Gilbert).