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Brawley's population jumps 16.5%, tops 20,000

April 13, 2001|By ANTHONY LONGORIA, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Census 2000 figures are in and the numbers for Brawley show a 16.5 percent increase in population, with numbers growing from 18,923 in 1990 to 22,052 in 2000.

"We knew in this census we were going to be over 20,000," City Manager Jerry Santillan said.

While pleased with the city's growth, Mayor Wayne Johnson suspects the census figures to be inaccurate.

"I feel Brawley is bigger than what they're saying it is," Johnson said.

Johnson said inaccuracies may have been due to some residents failing to submit census information.

Santillan said an additional analysis and challenge to the census figures may be needed if it appears the city was undercounted.

Census numbers affect capital improvement projects, how much land the city budgets for planning housing and affects the grants the city can seek, according to Santillan.


He said the city saw much population growth in the early 1990s but that growth has slowed in the last two years, although he did say the city is "growing healthy in terms of how we're planning."

Plans for the city must accommodate industrial growth, which includes a beef-processing plant set to open later this year.

Johnson said employees at the beef plant might add to the city's population.

"With the 600 jobs, I'm sure that's going to attract people to the plant and a lot of the employees are going to want to live close to it," said Johnson.

Johnson noted two subdivisions being developed (one on C Street and the other on North Imperial Avenue) will support growth.

"We're in a good position for growth," Johnson said.

He noted the city's new water plant will help support needs associated with growth.

For schools, Brawley Union High School District Superintendent Garth Isom said census numbers don't directly impact the district because the district conducts its own surveys.

Isom said the high school district's numbers haven't grown in the last 10 years but developments such as the beef plant could affect growth at the high school and could bring the need for an additional school

"We're looking at a new high school by 2010," Isom said.

An ethnic breakdown from the city's census numbers show Hispanics as the largest ethnic group with 16,280 or about 74 percent of the population. Numbers for other ethnic groups show: 4,780 white non-Hispanic, 464 black, 211 Asian, 90 American Indian, 24 Pacific Islander and 10 listed as "other."

Staff Writer Anthony Longoria can be reached at 337-3452.

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