The population in Chautauqua County has decreased by 4,845 people during the last 10 years.
That is according to the local-level census information for New York state that was released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday. The county's population went from 139,750 in 2000 to 134,905 in 2010, a 3.5 percent decrease.
Even though the population in the county dropped, County Executive Greg Edwards said it wasn't to the level that was projected.
''We were projected to lose 4.1 percent of our population and we did not,'' he said. ''We only lost 3.5 percent. That might not sound like much, but that is significant.''
Edwards said the higher-than-anticipated population total is thanks to the work of local municipal leaders and census workers who did their best to try and make sure everyone in the county was counted.
''There were a lot of people that committed a lot of energy to make this possible. There was almost a 100 percent commitment by local municipal leaders to be involved to work in their community to get people counted.''
Edwards said he was glad to hear the Republican caucus announce an aggressive schedule to get county redistricting done in advance of the 2011 elections. Time is short for the legislature, which plans to have a public hearing April 20 on the matter. In the meantime, a five-person reapportionment committee has been established to work on the plan.
''I was very encouraged the Republican caucus came out to push an aggressive schedule for redistricting,'' he said. ''If they had not done this, it would of been too late.''
As far as race in Chautauqua County, the white population decreased by 6,541 to 132,154, a 4 percent decrease. The black population increased by 146, a 5 percent rise. The Hispanic race also increased by 2,340 to 8,241, which grew by 28 percent.
The population also increased for American Indian and Alaskan natives by 91 to 689 total; Asian descent added 186 people to 688 total; and some other race category also rose by 251 to 2,669.
The Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population decreased by 4 to 36 people.
The town of Clymer had the largest increase in population, growing by 13.12 percent to 1,698 people. The next largest increase by percentage was in Bemus Point, which grew by 7.06 percent; the town of Sherman increased by 6.44 percent; Fredonia rose by 4.89 percent; and the village of Sherman jumped by 2.24 percent.
The highest population decrease was in the village of Cherry Creek, which decreased by 16.33 percent to a total of 461 people. Ripley decreased by 15.34 percent, Celoron's population lowered by 14.13 percent and Portland dropped by 12.27 percent.
The state's population increased by 2.1 percent, going from 18,976,457 in 2000 to 19,378,102 in 2010. That was an increase of 401,645 people.