April 1, 2015

Census estimate shows growth

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its annual metropolitan/micropolitan area and county population estimates showing population growth across all regions of North Dakota. It shows McLean County’s estimated population stands at 9,578. That’s compared to the 2010 Census of 8,962.

The jump shows a reversal of a downward trend that began in the late 1960s. Census Bureau statistics show the county’s population in 1960 was 14,030. By 1970 it had fallen to 11,251. In 1980, the county population had rebounded to 12,383, but it had fallen to 10,457 by the 1990 Census.

Comments given last year are still relevant today.

Ryan Oberg, county assessor, observes the figures are a strong indicator that the county is experiencing a revitalization of sorts. "After a steady decline in county population from 14,000 to about 10,500 between 1960 and 1990, the numbers dwindled more slowly between 1990 and 2010," he said.

This steady decline in population paralleled a national trend, at that time, of migration of the younger population to larger cities.

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