New Blood Boosts Midessa’s Population

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDESSA - If you've noticed a population boost in the Permian Basin, it's not your imagination.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 6,000 people have moved to Midland-Odessa since the summer of 2008, and the census isn't the only group to notice there's new blood.

"(I think) it's the great quality of life, good education system, good cost of living indicator," Odessa's Economic Development Director Gary Vest said that's why Midessa's growing.

According to Census Bureau estimates, the Midland and Odessa areas saw an increase of more than 3,000 people each from the summer of '08 to '09.

"We do continue to see business increase, you know retail development, retail stores," Vest said. "Since '09 we've seen some declines but we're still a lot better off than most of the country."

With the growth, you'd think there'd be a burden on the schools, but Ector County ISD says they're doing fine.

"From the first two weeks of school in 2008 to the first two weeks of school in 2009 we saw and increase of about 300 students all in the elementary level," Mike Adkins, ECISD Director of Communications, said "So, its not a big increase."

He says the placement of those kids is the real issue.

"We've seen that we have plenty of space for the number of students we have, but the students are not in the right place if you will," Adkins said. "So our challenge is really making sure we have everyone spread evenly among the schools that we have."

So as long as it's gradual, the population increase isn't too much to handle.

But its citizens have to help reduce those growing pains by filling out the census surveys.

"If our population statistics go up we get more funding through federal programs," Vest said. "That affects everything from A to Z as far as governmental programs."

Midland realtors also told NewsWest Nine, they're seeing an increase in young professionals moving to the area.