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Angeles County | Community News File / Lancaster

Population Rate Picks Up Speed This Year

October 21, 1998

After seeing growth fall to its lowest rate in a decade last year, more people seem to be moving to the Antelope Valley city, officials said this week.

Lancaster's population growth in 1997 was 1.8%, according to the city's Department of Community Development.

This year, population growth through the end of May reached 3.2%.

"We are delighted at the prospect of attracting so many new members to our community," Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts said.

The populations of Lancaster and neighboring Palmdale boomed during the 1980s--driven by military and aerospace employment. Population in Lancaster more than doubled during that decade to nearly 100,000 by 1990.

But growth slowed in the 1990s, largely as a consequence of the recession, said Dennis Davenport, Lancaster's assistant city manager.

After a growth rate peak of 4.87% in 1991, Lancaster's rate remained at about 2.5% the next two years. In 1994, the population rate shot up to 7.28%, with the growth attributed to the opening of a prison that brought inmates and employees, Davenport said.

The next three years the rates dropped to 2.53%, 2.12% and 1.8% last year--before swinging back this year.

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