Executive Director of Aliceville Chamber of Commerce, Edgar Pruitt, said that declining population in Aliceville and Pickens County started in 1980 and every year since then, the county is averaging a 9-10% decline. Pruitt says that when you look at the makeup of the population, Pickens County has become an aging population. In a decade, a significant amount of the baby boomer generation will either die or become incapacitated. He explains that an aging population needs infrastructure to support that population such as the hospital.
"The community used to have more employers who provided insurance to keep the hospital viable." Pruitt said.
He explains that the average income in Aliceville is well below the average poverty level at $19,000 per family and the county is about $27,000 per year per family. A retirement community, Pruitt explains, is supported by a middle class or growth community which adjusts itself to the needs of the aging.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.