Census: Rockdale Milam’s largest city
For the first time since the initial International & Great Northern passenger train chugged into town in 1873, Rockdale is Milam County’s largest town.
U. S. Census Bureau figures ava i lable over t he weekend showed Rockdale with a population of 5,595, just 43 more than Cameron’s 5,552.
During the past year, Rockdale grew 2.9 percent from its 2000 Census figure of 5,439.
Cameron declined 1.5 percent from its 2000 level, 5,634.
Cameron had been larger than Rockdale in every census since 1890. City figures from the 1880 census, less than six years after Rockdale incorporated, are not available.
NO AUSTIN GROWTH—If there was sizeable Austin-area growth in Milam County during the past decade, it was masked by the county losing its largest industry, Alcoa’s Rockdale Operations.
The 2010 census counted 24,757 Milam residents, up just 2.1 percent from 24,238 in 2000.
However, that still marks the highest census figure for Milam County in 70 years and the fourth consecutive increase.
Milam County’s all time population high was 39,666 in 1900 and the county was still 33,120 in 1940.
Where’s the big-city growth? Just cross a county line to the west or northwest where the census counted three quarters of a million people, 422,679 in Williamson County and 310,235 in Bell County.
DEMOGR A PHICS—Even with the loss of Alcoa just two years previously, Rockdale’s 2010 numbers not only showed an increase of 156 from the 2000 total but are within 16 of the highest census population Rockdale ever recorded.
That was 5,611 in 1980. Rockdale dropped to 5,235 in 1990 then recovered to 5,439 in 2000.
As in most Texas towns, Rockdale recorded a large surge in the Hispanic population during the past decade.
Number of Hispanics counted increased from 1,193 to 1,580 during the past decade.
Rockdale’s African-American population declined from 777 to 747.
MIL AM TOWNS—Thorndale’s population increased 4.5 percent from 1,278 to 1,336 during the decade.
The biggest census surprise was the growth of Buckholts.
That North Milam town increased by 33 percent, from 387 in 2000 to 515 in 2010.
Milano’s population grew from 400 to 428 during the decade, an increase of 7 percent.