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Northwoods Population Continues DeclineSubmitted: 03/14/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


NORTHWOODS - Look around, and you may notice the Northwoods population getting older.

But in most areas, it's also getting smaller.

In the last two years, population has been shrinking in many Northwoods counties.

The U.S. Census bureau released their 2012 population estimates this week.

It shows people are either dying or moving away from the Northwoods faster than they're coming in.

Chances are, migration has made up for the biggest portion of loss since 2010.

"People can move into or out of for a variety of reasons, but trends in migration tend to shift a lot more quickly than natural increase," says U.S. Census Bureau Statistician Ben Bolender.

Counties in red are ones that lost population since 2010.

The deeper the red, the more they lost.

Only four counties on the map actually gained population over that two year stretch.

Population loss in northern Wisconsin is nothing new.

"Although in some years in the past decade some of those counties either grew slightly or stayed the same for a year at a time, that overall decline is kind of the same trend that we've seen since at least 2000," says Bolender.

Statewide, though, Wisconsin gained population since 2010.

Urban centers around Milwaukee and Green Bay account for most of that increase.

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