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Within two years, if current trends hold up, Houston County's population will pass Bibb County's.

Estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week show Houston gaining almost 200 people a month since the 2010 census. Bibb continues to lose about 30 residents a month.

On July 1, 2013, the Census said, 154,721 people lived in Bibb County, 147,658 in Houston.

But if Houston's growth and Bibb's decline continues, their roles would reverse by February 2016.

The 1990 Census showed 89,208 people living in Houston, 149,967 in Bibb. Ten years later, Bibb's population was about 43,000 people bigger.

Houston's growth since then has been helped by Robins Air Force Base, the state's largest employer.

Meanwhile, this week's Census release shows that most of Central Georgia is shrinking.

Jones, Crawford, Wilkinson, Treutlen, Johnson, Bleckley, Wilcox, Laurens, Taylor, Pulaski, Washington, Twiggs, Hancock, Dodge, Dooly, Peach and Macon counties all lost population since April 2010.

Gaining population in that time were Houston, Monroe, Wheeler, Baldwin, Putnam and Telfair counties gained people in that time. Several of those counties have large prison-inmate populations,which are included in the census count.

The Census numbers show that Houston County gained 7,758 people since April 2010. The other 23 counties in the region, combined, lost about 6,100.

The county-by-county totals:

County 2010 | Census 2013 | Est. Change | % Change
Houston 139,900 | 147,658 | 7,758 | 5.55%
Monroe 26,424 | 26,984 | 560 | 2.12%
Wheeler 7,421 | 7,909 | 488 | 6.58%
Baldwin 45,720 | 46,039 | 319 | 0.70%
Putnam 21,218 | 21,371 | 153 | 0.72%
Telfair 16,500 | 16,591 | 91 | 0.55%
Jones 28,669 | 28,569 | -100 | -0.35%
Crawford 12,630 | 12,504 | -126 | -1.00%
Wilkinson 9,563 | 9,432 | -131 | -1.37%
Treutlen 6,885 | 6,712 | -173 | -2.51%
Johnson 9,980 | 9,767 | -213 | -2.13%
Bleckley 13,063 | 12,771 | -292 | -2.24%
Wilcox 9,255 | 8,960 | -295 | -3.19%
Laurens 48,434 | 47,999 | -435 | -0.90%
Taylor 8,906 | 8,464 | -442 | -4.96%
Pulaski 12,010 | 11,542 | -468 | -3.90%
Washington 21,187 | 20,676 | -511 | -2.41%
Twiggs 9,023 | 8,481 | -542 | -6.01%
Hancock 9,429 | 8,879 | -550 | -5.83%
Dodge 21,796 | 21,221 | -575 | -2.64%
Dooly 14,918 | 14,304 | -614 | -4.12%
Peach 27,695 | 27,014 | -681 | -2.46%
Macon Co. 14,740 | 14,009 | -731 | -4.96%
Bibb 155,547 | 54,721 | -826 | -0.53
Central GA 690,913 | 692,577 | 1,664 0.24

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