BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — More jobs and a higher population count are signs of progress if you ask Lee Lawson with the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance.

“When you move 50,000 people within a decade to your community you’re creating a substantial economic impact for businesses, for new business creation, and for the existing businesses that are here to thrive,” said Lawson. 

The 2020 U.S. Census data ranks Baldwin County as the 7th fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country and the fastest-growing county in Alabama. The new numbers show a 27.2% population increase from 2010, with nearly 232,000 residents calling Baldwin County home.

“Even today just fresh information with Spanish Fort number two and Gulf Shores number one with fastest-growing cities in the state over a population of 10,000,” he added. Fairhope and Foley also made the top list of fastest-growing cities in the state.

Smaller municipalities like the Town of Loxley that have less than 10,000 residents are expected to see substantial growth when those numbers are released, too. Loxley Mayor Richard Teal is waiting daily for the new data, which he believes will allow the town to transition to a city with a higher population count.

New industries are moving to the area and that’s something the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance continues to push for, especially now that the new data is trickling in.

“We get to have some fresh conversations with prospects that are out there and say hey we really can supply you the human capital you’re looking for because that’s become more and more precious now to these companies and people that are making these site decisions,” said Lawson.