Monday, October 8, 2012

Population Loss in Wisconsin Counties: Not a Recent Trend in Most Cases

Population of Iron County, 1900-2010

Reversing the slide: Iron County communities try to curb exodus of residents. Wisconsin State Journal, 10/8/2012)

Excerpt:  During the 1990s, only Milwaukee County lost population in Wisconsin. But from 2000 to 2010, while the state’s population grew by 6 percent, 19 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties lost population, with the declines concentrated in rural areas. The losses continued in most of those rural counties in 2011.

Other counties that lost population 2000-2010.

More than 7%:  Florence, Forest, Menomonie,.Price.

Although it has experienced ups and downs since then, Price County's population peaked in 1920.

On somewhat of a roller-coaster ride....

Sidebar:  Orange arrow shows approximate location of Nelson family reunions since 1959.  (The last gathering, sad to say, took place in 2001.)

Counties that lost from 0% to 7% of their populataion:  Ashland, Buffalo, Burnett, Crawford, Door, Green Lake, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette, Oneida, Rusk, Washburn, Wood.

Buffalo County's population peaked in 1900.

Other examples:

Ashland County population:
Peak:  24,538 in 1920
Lowest  16,157 in 2010

Crawford County population
Peak:  18,328 in 1940
Lowest:  15,940 in 1990 (compared to 16,644 in 2010)

Link to interactive map at Wisconsin Watch, 

You'd think the Wisconsin Center for Investigate Journalism would take a look at the historical forest and not just the current declining cluster of trees.  At least a peek at the forest, anyway.

And, on another topic covered in the article, something else to consider about the promise of mining jobs, which many Iron County residents apparently see as their deliverance.

The Geography of Disability.  (The Daily Yonder, 11/30/2011)

Excerpt: Disability payments are concentrated in counties where the jobs require manual labor and where unemployment is traditionally high. [Table provided in article.]  Mining and timbering are major industries in many of the counties with the highest percentages of disability beneficiaries. These are also counties with historically high rates of unemployment.

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