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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Extension Line

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In December, 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the 2010 Census showed the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2010, was 308,745,538. This was an increase of 9.7 percent over the 2000 U.S. resident population of 281,421,906. Of that 27,323,632 total resident increase, Iowa grew by 120,031 residents. The Iowa population grew by 4.1% since the 2000 census was taken, growing from 2,926,324 to 3,046,355. This the first time that Iowa's population has been over the 3 million mark.

This past week, the Census Bureau released data from the individual Iowa counties. Below is the information from the six counties included in the Iowa State University Extension Region 6.

County2010 Population2000 PopulationPercent ChangePopulation Change
Buena Vista20,26020,411- 0.7- 151
Calhoun 9,67011,115-13.0-1,445
Cherokee12,07213,037- 7.4- 965
Ida 7,089 7,837- 9.5- 748
Pocahontas 7,310 8,662-15.6-1,352
Totals66,75172,591- 8.0-5,840

Do these numbers surprise you? How do they relate to past population census data of our six counties?


Buena Vista19,83821,11321,18920,69320,77419,96520,411
Ida11,04710,69710,269 9,283 8,908 8,365 7,837
Pocahontas16,26615,49614,23412,79311,369 9,525 8,662
Totals 101,632 100,80197,22089,90384,94975,78572,591


Buena Vista1,5857,53713,54816,97515,98118,55618,667
Ida 2264,38210,70512,32711,29611,68911,933
Pocahontas1,4463,713 9,55315,33914,80815,60215,687
Totals8,237 38,24177,09497,41992,47198,890 100,270

Going back to the earliest census data for Iowa, the 1850 census showed no one in the six counties. By 1860, there were 57 people in Buena Vista, 147 in Calhoun, 58 in Cherokee, 43 in Ida, 103 in Pocahontas, and 246 people in Sac County for a total of 654 people in the region.

Oftentimes people will reflect on the farm crisis of the 1980's as a turning point in the population of our rural counties. The data above suggests that population decline in our six counties has been going on for a long time. Thinking ahead to 2020, what will the census numbers look like at that time?