By the year 2035, Crow Wing County will have another 21,054 residents - or will have increased by roughly the combined current population of Brainerd and Baxter.
That is what the Minnesota State Demographic Center anticipates in a population projection report released this month. Out of the region - with Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties - neighboring Mille Lacs County should see the greatest population percentage increase in the region, the state reported.
"The Twin Cities suburbs and the Rochester and St. Cloud regions are all expected to see substantial growth over the next 30 years," the report found. "The lakes area of north central Minnesota is also projected to have considerable increase. Slow growth or decline is projected in much of western Minnesota and in the core counties of the Twin Cities."
The report estimates county populations extending out 28 years. The state's population, at 5,167,101 in 2006, is expected to increase to 5,709,700 by 2015 and 6,446,300 by 2035. The state expects to have more than 6 million residents by 2025. Substantial population growth is anticipated in the next eight years. The state will add about 1.25 million people within 30 years.
"The most rapid gains will occur in the suburbs in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, including Scott, Wright, and Sherburne counties, followed by Dakota and Wright counties. Twenty-eight counties, mostly in western Minnesota, are projected to lose population during the coming decade," the state reported.
Metropolitan areas should count for about 83 percent of all population growth.
And with baby boomers continuing to expand the ranks of the retired, a rapid graying of the state's population is anticipated. "... Between now and 2035, the population over age 65 will more than double," the demographer's office reported.
From 2005 to 2015, the fastest growth in Minnesota will be in the 55 to 69 age group, the state reports. From 2005 to 2035, the fastest growth is expected for ages 65 and older.
But older people are not the only group with population increases. The state expects the number of children younger than 15 to grow at least a little bit during the next 25 years. "There will be about 9 percent more children in 2015 than there are now," the report stated.
"After a period of declining school enrollments statewide, educators in many areas can anticipate that enrollments will increase or at least remain stable. Most of the gain in the child population will occur in counties that attract young families, particularly in the Twin Cities suburbs," according to the report.
The number of young adults in the state, those aged 15 to 24, is expected to fluctuate with about 6 percent more of them in the state in 2035 than were accounted for in the population in 2005. The number of residents aged 25 to 44 is expected to remain stable while the 45 to 64 year-olds will increase sharply and the number of Minnesotans age 65 and older will explode in coming years, the report stated.
The complete report is available online at www.demography.state.mn.us.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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