Tuesday, October 19, 2021

CENSUS: County’s population up 830

Steele County’s population grew by 830 residents the past decade, according to figures recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. And most of growth occurred in the city of Owatonna.

The county’s population now sits at 37,406, compared to 36,576 in 2010. That represents a 2.2% growth overall.

Two cities, Owatonna and Medford, recorded growth, while Blooming Prairie and Ellendale saw slight population declines. The total population in area townships also declined.

According to the Census Bureau:

  • Owatonna’s population in 2020 stood at 26,420 compared to 25,599 in 2010. That’s up 821 people or 3.1%.
  • Medford’s recorded a population of 1,315 in 2020, compared to its 2010 population of 1,239. The city’s additional 76 residents represent a 5.8% increase in population, the largest percentage increase recorded in the county.
  • Blooming Prairie’s population in 2020 stood at 1,974, compared to 1,996 in 2010. That’s a loss of 22 residents, or a 1.1% decline in population.
  • Ellendale lost 15 residents between 2010 and 2020. The city’s current population is 676, compared to 691 in 2010, for a 2.2% decline.

There are also fewer residents residing in rural Steele County – 7, 021 in 2020 compared to 7,051 in 2010, for a 0.4% decrease.

The county’s population accounts for 0.6% of Minnesota’s population, which stands at a little more than 5.7 million people.

City officials were not surprised by the results of the census and say the relatively small changes in population won’t impact federal and state funds that flow into their cities.

“We figured we would remain about the same,” said Blooming Prairie City Administrator Andrew Langholz, adding that he received the official numbers from the state demographer’s office late last week.

And, Langholz said, the slight decline in population isn’t expected to impact the federal and state funds received by the city.

Troy Klecker, Owatonna’s community development director, said the population numbers released by the Census Bureau is the most important of all the census reports when it comes to economic development.

Owatonna’s population accounts for about 70% of the county’s population, said Klecker.

The good news for Owatonna, said Klecker, is that it remains one of the largest outstate cities in Minnesota and that the city’s population continues to grow, census after census.

“We’ve never had a census where we’ve dropped in population,” said Klecker.

And sitting just outside the city limits are Clinton Falls Township and Owatonna Townships, two townships that also experienced growth.

“They function as part of the city limits,” said Klecker.

Like Owatonna, both Clinton Falls Township and Owatonna Township, increased in population. Clinton Falls Township gained 35 residents, for a 9% increase, which Owatonna Township increased by 4 residents, or a little more than one-half percent.

As for other townships in the county, five experienced growth and six saw a decline in population.

According to the Census Bureau:

  • Aurora Township’s population in 2020 stood at 528, compared to 574 in 2010. That’s a loss of 46 residents, or a 8.7% decline in population.
  • Berlin Township’s population in 2020 stood at 506, compared to 519 in 2010. That’s a loss of 13 residents, or a 2.6% decline in population.
  • Blooming Prairie Township’s population in 2020 stood at 397, compared to 430 in 2010. That’s a loss of 33 residents, or a 8.3% decline in population.
  • Deerfield Township’s population in 2020 stood at 542, compared to 517 in 2010. That’s a gain of 25 residents, or a 4.6% increase in population.
  • Havana Township’s population in 2020 stood at 556, compared to 570 in 2010. That’s a loss of 14 residents, or a 2.5% decline in population.
  • Lemond Township’s population in 2020 stood at 503, compared to 501 in 2010. That’s a gain of 2 residents, or a 0.4% increase in population.
  • Medford Township’s population in 2020 stood at 843, compared to 813 in 2010. That’s a gain of 30 residents, or a 3.6% increase in population.
  • Meriden Township’s population in 2020 stood at 620, compared to 621 in 2010. That’s a loss of 1 resident, or a 0.1% decline in population.
  • Merton Township’s population in 2020 stood at 361, compared to 348 in 2010. That’s a gain of 13 residents, or a 3.6% increase in population.
  • Sommerset Township’s population in 2020 stood at 733, compared to 732 in 2010. That’s a gain of 1 resident, or a 0.1% increase in population.
  • Summit Township’s population in 2020 stood at 433, compared to 466 in 2010. That’s a loss of 33 residents, or a 7.6% decline in population.

The 2020 census found Minnesota had 5,709,752 residents as of April 1, 2020. In comparison, around 3.41 million people lived in Minnesota in 1960.

26- Mower- 40,029

35- Freeborn- 30,895

28- Steele- 37,406

48- Dodge- 20,867

50- Waseca- 18,968

 

Area population changes

                                    2000                            2010                            2020           

Steele                          33,680                         36,576                         37,406

Dodge                         17,731                         20,087                         20,867

Mower                         38,603                         39,163                         40,029

Freeborn                      32,584                         31,255                         30,895

Waseca                        19,526                         19,136                         18,968

 

Blooming Prairie         1,933                             1,996                           1,974

Medford                      984                                1,239                           1,315

Ellendale                     590                                   691                           696

Owatonna                   22,434                         25,599                         26,420

 

 

Steele County Times

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917
507-583-4431

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