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Numbers drop in county

By Mike Klein

mklein@postbulletin.com

Mower County’s population dropped about 100 people, a quarter of a percent, from July 2006 to July 2007, in the U.S. Census estimates released this morning.

With 38,040 people, Mower is the 26th most populous county in the state, while it ranked 59th for percent growth.

Meanwhile, Olmsted County was the seventh-fastest growing county in the state in that period, growing by 2,214 people, or 1.6 percent.

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Olmsted’s growth has been remarkably steady since the 2000 Census, as it has added roughly 2,000 people each year, give or take a few hundred, meaning growth between 1 and 2 percent.

In contrast, growth in the once fast-growing Twin Cities suburbs slowed drastically, the report showed. Scott County was once one of the nation’s 10 fastest-growing counties. But the new report says Scott County has slipped to 166th. Growth in Chisago County was once in the top 100 but now ranks 683rd.

Minnesota no longer has any counties in the country’s top 100.

State demographer Scott Gillaspy says even though the "torrid ’90s" are over, growth in Twin Cities suburban counties is returning to 1970s levels — which he says were "not particularly bad."

In southeastern Minnesota, growth was less than 1 percent in Goodhue, Dodge, Fillmore and Winona counties in the most recent count. And the population actually dropped slightly in Mower, Wabasha and Houston counties.

Dodge County had been one of the fastest growing counties in the region, with population up 10.3 percent since 2000, but that growth slowed to 0.43 percent, or 84 people, in the most recent count.

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