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The Lake News Online
  • Camdenton “poised for economic expansion”

  • A 34 percent increase in population from 2000 to 2010 in the City of Camdenton is just one of several factors from the U.S. Census and American Community Survey that make it ripe for development now, according to Roger Corbin.


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  • A 34 percent increase in population from 2000 to 2010 in the City of Camdenton is just one of several factors from the U.S. Census and American Community Survey that make it ripe for development now, according to Roger Corbin.
    "Over the next decade, Camdenton is really poised for more economic expansion," he says.
    From 2,779 to 3,718, the one-third increase in Camdenton's population was the equivalent of adding the City of Laurie, population 945 in 2010, over the 10-year period - a dramatic increase when considered in those terms, he says.
    The city has a considerable available labor force and more income than in years past, according to Corbin.
    Camdenton has a youthful population. Its median age actually dropped from 34.5 in 2000 to 33.7 in 2010, notably well below Camden County's average age of 48 in 2010. Just 8.4 percent - 309 out of the total 3,718 - of the city's population is over the age of 65, according to the 2010 Census.
    Possibly related to the younger population is a balance of the genders, according to Corbin. The city is about 50 percent male and 50 percent female.
    While the average age of the county seat's population dropped, its median household income (MHI) increased significantly, unlike most other areas of the nation which either saw MHI decline or stagnate, Corbin says.
    In 2000, the Census showed an MHI for Camdenton of $26,682. The MHI in 2010 was $35,026.
    Overall, he says the city seems to have an adequate housing stock with just 4 percent, or 63 units, of the total being mobile homes.
    With the population increase has come more occupied housing. Over the decade between each Census, occupied housing units rose from 1,149 to 1,331.
    The vacancy rate also increased from 10.4 percent, 134 units, in 2000 to 16.3 percent, 259 units, in 2010.
    "With all the increase in population, there was still an increase in the vacancy rate. Usually, an increase in population means a lower vacancy rate," Corbin says.
    More seasonal housing units, assisted housing or recent multi-family unit development could be causes of the higher vacancy rate, according to Corbin.
    Another factor that could go hand in hand with the vacancy rate is an increase in the average household size.
    From 2000 to 2010, it increased from 2.35 to 2.53, indicating some "family doubling," according to Corbin.
    Family doubling is when young adults remain at home or other family lives in a household.
    Considering the young median age again, there are likely many residents in their 20s - recent high school graduates - who are staying at home rather than getting an individual apartment, Corbin says.
    This household arrangement could also contribute to the higher MHI.
    Another indicator of potential available labor force was a fairly high unemployment rate, 8.2 percent, at the time of 2010 Census, though that rate likely fluctuates on a quarterly basis.
    Page 2 of 2 - Non-population-based factors for the city that are positive for growth include a good transportation infrastructure, especially at the crossroads of Highways 5 and 54, and the availability of nearby technical training, according to Corbin.
    Lake Career & Technical Center in Camdenton, part of the Camdenton R-III School District, could easily accommodate training to bring specific skills to the work force as needed by companies, he says.
    Corbin was the Camden County complete count committee chair for the 2010 Census. He is a retired urban planner from Omaha, Neb. He has a Masters of Science in Urban Studies and had 20 years of experience working in planning for cities and councils of local governments.
    Corbin worked with Camdenton Assistant City Administrator/Economic Development Director Mike Nichols to get the data for this analysis.
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