According to the US Census Bureau, Somervell County has experienced notable growth over the last seven years, but more drastic increases have been seen in the last two years.

While the long form census is collected every 10 years, the American Community Survey now provides annual population estimates by collecting demographic, socioeconomic and housing data.

During the regular 2000 Census, Somervell showed a population of 6,809. Between 1990 and 2000 the population rose by 1,149. Population estimates as of January 2007 showed the county to have about 7,757 residents, an increase of almost 950 residents.

Not so far from home, Hood County, which had a population of 41,100 individuals in 2000, had an estimated population of 49,170 in 2007.

The population at the 1990 census was only 28,981 an increase of 12,119 residents over a 10-year period.

While the population of Eastland County saw a decrease in population since the 1990 census, estimates show the county has had a slight increase in locals since 2000. In 2000, there were 18,297 individuals residing in the county, the approximate population in 2007 was 18,337 - an increase of about 40 individuals.

Comanche County has experienced a reversal in growth trends over the last few years. The 1990 census showed 13,381 residing in the area, 10 years later the county had grown by 645 individuals. The estimated population for 2007 was 13,541, a decrease of about 485 residents in just over six years.

Similar to Comanche County population trends, Hamilton County saw an increase of 496 individuals, from 7,733 residents in 1990 to 8,229 in 2000. The estimated population for 2007 was 8,138, a decrease of 91 since 2000.

What is the American Community Survey? According to the Web site for the US Census Bureau, www.census.gov, a sample of addresses nationwide began receiving questionnaires from the new American Community Survey in January 2005. The survey, which is mailed out to different geographic areas each month, collects demographic, socioeconomic and housing data, the same information collected every 10 years from the long-form questionnaire of the census.

The bureau also explains that the survey does not provide an official population count but is designed to show the characteristics of the nationís population and should not be used as actual population counts or housing totals for the nation, states and counties.

According to the US Census Bureau, The American Community Survey is scheduled to replace the long form in the 10-year census beginning in 2010. The American Community Survey will replace the census and allow for more up to date information and eliminate the 10-year wait for an up-to-date statistical snapshot, the nationwide survey was designed to give communities current and accurate information every year. The survey has been tested since 1996 to ensure it will yield the same data as the long form.

In the United States and Puerto Rico, about 250,000 addresses per month or 2.5-percent of the population receive the survey, the equivalent of about one in 480 addresses each month or one in 40 annually. The odds of receiving the survey in any 10-year period are less than 1 in 4 with no address receiving the survey more than once in any five-year period.