During the next 28 years, Crow Wing County is projected to be the eighth fastest-growing county in the state, only slightly surpassed in percentage population growth by neighboring Aitkin and Cass counties, according to a new report released Wednesday by the State Demographic Center at Minnesota Planning.
According to these Minnesota population projections, Crow Wing County is expected to grow from 55,099 residents in 2000 to a projected population of 90,240 in 2030, a 64 percent increase.
Crow Wing's population is expected to climb to 61,080 residents in 2005, 67,090 in 2010, 73,400 in 2015, 79,420 in 2020, and 85,120 in 2025.
Cass County is projected to experience a 67 percent population growth by 2030. Cass had 27,150 residents in 2000, which is expected to increase to 45,280 residents by 2030.
Aitkin County is projected to have a 65 percent population growth by 2030, an increase from 15,301 residents in 2000 to 25,270 residents in 2030.
Todd, Morrison and Wadena counties aren't expected to experience as significant of growth. Todd County is projected to grow by 15 percent, from 24,426 residents in 2000 to 28,000 residents in 2030. Morrison County will experience a 17 percent growth, from 31,712 residents in 2000 to 37,190 residents in 2030. Wadena County will grow 16 percent, from 13,713 residents in 2000 to 15,900 residents in 2030.
Minnesota's population is projected to grow to 5.45 million by 2010 and 6.27 million by 2030. The current state population is about 5 million.
Population growth is expected to be the greatest in the Rochester-Twin Cities-St. Cloud corridor, but many rural areas like the Brainerd lakes area will experience growth because of the rich land resources of lakes and forests, according to the report. Scott, Sherburne and Carver counties are projected to be the fastest-growing in this decade while 21 counties, mostly in western Minnesota, are expected to lose population.
The new figures are higher than previously projected.
Regions of the state will be affected differently by the projected population trends, according to the state demographer's office. Though the population of school-age children is expected to grow modestly statewide, many rural areas can expect to see continued declines in school enrollments, said Minnesota Planning Director Dean Barkley.
Areas with lakes and forests can expect escalating property values and continued debates over how to maintain the quality of lake waters. The dramatic growth in the older population will be most visible in Twin Cities suburbs, Barkley said in a news release. However, this also will be felt statewide.
For example, in Crow Wing County, census figures indicated there were 2,445 residents ages 80 and older in 2000. This age group is expected to grow to 6,010 by 2030, a 41 percent increase.
This report is available online at www.mnplan.state.mn.us. It includes projections by age and gender for the state, counties, development regions and metropolitan areas.
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