“To me, that indicates the attractiveness of downtown Decatur as a place to live,” Saxon said, “which has always been a focus of our planning.”
In recent years, the city has put a greater focus on adding more paths and bicycle lanes through downtown, as the main corridors became more busy.
He said the city’s population dropped in the ’70s and ’80s as household size declined, but has rebounded. He wondered whether an uptick in average household size in Decatur’s residential neighborhoods is also behind the latest population increase.
“It’s a combination of lifestyle, the schools, the opportunity to live in a high-quality, urban environment,” Saxon said.
For all DeKalb cities, population changes from 2018 to 2019 were minor, according to the estimates. Brookhaven and Chamblee each grew about 2%.
Pine Lake is still the least populous city in DeKalb, with an estimated 754 residents.
The estimates are separate from the ongoing 2020 Census, which seeks to achieve an exact count of United States residents as of April 2020. The numbers released Thursday are from an annual report designed to reflect estimated population counts from July 1, 2019.
Brookhaven’s population is likely to grow again for the 2020 Census count, because about 2,000 people became residents in December 2019, when the LaVista Park neighborhood was annexed into the city. Brookhaven has already grown by about 12% since 2010.
Here are all of the 2019 population estimates for cities in DeKalb County, according to the Census Bureau: