Showing a major 7.3 percent population increase, Canton was the big winner as most of St. Lawrence County’s other population centers lost residents, according to 2010 Census figures released last week.
The Town of Potsdam was the only other of the five major communities in the county to gain residents, with a .5 percent gain of 84 to 16,041. In the Village of Potsdam, population was virtually unchanged at 9,428, three more people than in 2000.
Overall, St. Lawrence County gained 13 people during the past ten years, with total population standing at 111,944 in 2010, compared to 111,931 people in 2000.
In Canton, the village gained 432 residents, or 7.3 percent, for a total of 6,314, compared with 5,882 recorded in 2000. However, the increase may have been due to better counting, not an actual increase.
County planning office employees and volunteers this year focused on ensuring an accurate count of college students because of claims as many as 1,600 St. Lawrence University students were not counted in 2000.
The Town of Canton gained more overall residents than the village, an increase of 661 people for a total of 10,995, compared to 10,334 in 2000.
Elsewhere in the county, the picture was not so pretty.
Ogdensburg lost 9.5 percent of its population, or 1,186 people, for a 2010 population county of 11,128, compared to 12,364 in 2000. In Massena, where the General Motors Central Foundry plant has closed, the village population dropped 273, or 2.5 percent, to 10,936.
Town of Massena population was down 234, or 1.8 percent, to 12,887.
The Town of Gouverneur saw a 4.5 percent population drop, down 333 to 7,085.