GENEVA, Ala (WDHN) — At the end of last year, two wiregrass cities lost their urban status as a result of changes from the latest census.

Geneva City officials wonder if losing this status will affect future government grants and funding
To the city of rivers

In December, the U.S. Census Bureau reported they are redefining the term urban areas following the 2020 census. The criteria for urban and rural criteria are reviewed and revised after every census.

Following the 2010 census, geneva and headland were both classified as urban, but now they are listed as rural.

“If it does have an effect on us in a negative way we are going to do what we can to turn a positive out of it. We know we’ve had growth here in geneva city over the past year. We’ve had a lot of new families moving over here so we are seeing growth, we are not seeing a lot of negative from it and hopefully, they’ll do another census from it and it’ll be accurate.” said Geneva Mayor David Hayes.

The latest census figures indicate geneva with a population of around 4,500 residents, that’s less than the five thousand needed for urban status. In addition, Headland with a population now of less than five thousand also lost its urban status.

Mayor Hayes says he’s not exactly sure how this population shift will affect his city but he says one thing is for sure it’s going to cause some changes.

“We may miss some numbers because of the population but then again it may open the door to some other type of grant that may be better than what we missed. But we are looking at every avenue possible so we don’t miss anything,” said Hayes

From 2010 to 2020, Alabama’s total population grew by 5.1%.