In a report released this week, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Wisconsin's population as 5,771,337 as of July 1, 2015, an increase of 11,905 over the 2014 estimate.Milewski's Capital Times article also includes this chart, which shows the downward trend of the state's population growth in the last 10 years.
The yearly growth rate fell to 0.21 percent in 2015; it was 0.27 a year earlier and 0.58 percent in 2005.
During the 2010s, Wisconsin has averaged an annual growth rate of 0.3 percent over the official decennial census population figure, a notable decline from earlier decades. In the 2000s, the annual growth rate was 0.6 percent, and it was 0.96 percent in the 1990s.
Population growth number, July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015
Population growth percentage, July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015
You can't help but notice Minnesota topping that list while we linger in mediocrity. And it doesn't take much of a stretch to connect these two stats together when you look at the net migration numbers, which Wisconsin also does not fare well in. All Midwestern states had more people moving out to other states vs people moving in from other states, but Wisconsin had more than most. I'll also include the net migration figure as a percentage of the 2014 population, since logically places with more people living in it would be likely to have more people moving out.
Net domestic migration, 7-1-2014 to 7-1-2015
Iowa -3,949 (-0.13%)
Minn -12,242 (-0.22%)
Ind. -14,881 (-0.23%)
Wis. -15,568 (-0.27%)
Ohio -31,297 (-0.27%)
Mich -38,911 (-0.39%)
Ill. -105,217 (-0.82%)
In fact, Illinois' huge out-migration likely masks Wisconsin bad record in this statistic, since Wisconsin likely grabs more FIBs than residents they lose to Illinois. So this should concern policy-makers, as people leaving town is obviously going to limit Wisconsin's ability to grow. But Scott Walker and the WisGOPs in the Legislature seem to have no interest in changing this trend, and in fact, are likely adding to it, because of their policies of low pay, defunding education, and regressive social legislation.
This Census Bureau report from last week is yet more evidence to me that the state is going in the wrong direction, and that there must be a change in leadership to stop the bleeding. Demographics matter, and Wisconsin is increasingly on the wrong side of them.