Growing more than 31 percent from 2000 to 2010, the county's reported population was 100,157. In 2000, the Census placed 76,019 people in Bartow.
Melinda Lemmon, executive director of Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development, said the population growth brings both advantages and challenges.
She said on the upside, Bartow County has opportunities for commercial development. "Commercial businesses seek customers. All businesses seek quality workforce."
More people also mean more issues.
Lemmon sees the increased demand on infrastructure and services as one of the largest challenges.
"Increased demand does not always mean increased financial resources to reinvest in infrastructure, however," she said.
While the northwest Georgia area made gains, Bartow was among the fastest growing. For the first time, the county is larger than Floyd County by almost 4,000 residents.
Surrounding counties that saw a 25 percent-plus population growth include: Cherokee, 214,346; Paulding, 142, 324; and Gordon, 55,186. Cobb County's population was 688,078, according to the Census, while Polk has 41,475 residents.
Georgia's population swelled to nearly 9.7 million, up from nearly 8.2 million in 2000. The Peach State is now the country's ninth most populous, up from 10th a decade ago. It grew at a rate of 18.3 percent -- outpacing the national growth of 9.7 percent.
A vast amount of the growth occurred in north Georgia, with the southwest corner of the state shouldered the largest portion of population loss. Likewise, nine counties in east Georgia near the South Carolina line reported a loss.
The report released Thursday -- which relates to racial data related to redistricting -- shows Forsyth, Carroll and Henry counties leading growth in the metro area, adding 78.4 percent, 74 percent and 70.9 percent respectively.
Of Georgia's five largest cities, only Athens showed considerable growth, adding about 15 percent. Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus and Savannah all added less than 4 percent over the last 10 years.
Georgia's Hispanic population nearly doubled over the last 10 years -- from 435,227 in 2000 to 865,689 in 2010 -- and now represents just under 9 percent of the state's population. That growth is largely concentrated in metro Atlanta counties.
The state's changing demographics also will factor heavily into the state's politics, particularly with regard to the upcoming redistricting battle. The Census is mandated by the Constitution to determine how to divide the seats in the House among the 50 states, and because of Georgia's growth, the state picked up a seat in the House of Representatives.
The House delegation now numbers 14 members. In 1970, Georgia had 10 congressmen.
Numerically, whites continue to make up the majority of Georgians, at nearly 5.8 million people, or 60 percent of the statewide population -- down from 65 percent in 2000 and a change of nearly 9 percent. Because the minority populations are concentrated, districts will be overwhelmingly partisan and racially homogenous -- which bodes well for Georgia Republicans, said Georgia State University political science professor Steve Anthony.
More than 600,000 blacks moved to Georgia in the past decade, and African-Americans now total nearly 3 million statewide, or 31 percent of the population.
See The Daily Tribune News this week for a detailed look at how Bartow County has grown and what changes it has wrought, as well projections for where the county may be headed.
- Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.