Carrollton sees spike in population growth
Published 9:59 pm Friday, October 12, 2018
By Ella Bronaugh
Carrollton has experienced a steady climb in population growth during the past 20 to 25 years.
Precipitated by the development of Eagle Harbor along Route 17, more and more people from Hampton Roads and otherwise have been relocating to new developments around the northern end of the community. Don Robertson, assistant county administrator for Isle of Wight County, attributes this recent growth to Carrollton’s convenient location and lower cost of living.
“They want the best of both worlds,” Robertson said over the phone. “They get the convenience of being able to get around Hampton Roads while still having the luxury of being in a more rural community.”
With Carrollton being in the center of Hampton Roads, residents have access to an easy commute to most of the major cities in the area such as Norfolk or Portsmouth, while still being able to enjoy the benefits of living away from an urban environment. In fact, a large source of Carrollton’s incoming population originates from the surrounding areas of Hampton Roads.
“Many of the people who live in Carrollton now previously lived in Chesapeake, Suffolk or other parts of Hampton Roads and have moved to Carrollton because of the better tax rate, excellent schools and proximity to their jobs,” Robertson said.
This growth in population has accelerated Carrollton’s economy, bringing in new businesses and opportunities for its residents.
“A lot of new talented people have moved into our community, bringing new ideas and new energy,” Robertson said. “There has been an uptick in economic development in the area; stores and businesses have come along that we did not have years ago.”
As with any community, Carrollton’s growth in population has led to certain strains on its resources such as increased amounts of traffic, overcrowding in the schools and the need to expand services such as fire and rescue and law enforcement.
“When you move to a community, there will be more cars on the highways, more traffic issues and more kids in the schools, which leads to overcrowding or the need to build additional schools,” Robertson said. “This puts pressure on the community at large.”
Isle of Wight County has been working hard to combat the negative effects of population growth. Projects such as redesigning the Bartlett intersection and extending Nike Park Road to Route 17 will help solve traffic issues in Carrollton as well as Smithfield. Moreover, the Isle of Wight County School Board has been planning to start projects to either add on to schools in the area or build a new elementary school to account for the overcrowding in Carrollton and Westside Elementary.
Despite the strain population growth may put on the community, Carrollton is on an upward trend, and the resulting economic growth will continue to bring new opportunities for its residents.