Saturday, March 24, 2018

New populations show Dane County leading while Milwaukee Co, rurals are bleeding in Fitzwalkerstan

In between the hundreds of millions of dollars being handed out and the suppression of elections going on at the Capitol in recent days, this bit of news seemed to slip up the radar in a lot of places around the state.
Milwaukee County’s population has dropped by nearly 6,800 over the last three years, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, including a 0.34 percent decline from 2016 to 2017.

The drop left the county with an estimated 952,085 residents as of July 1, 2017. It was the third consecutive year with a decline, but the population is still up nearly 0.5 percent since the 2010 census.

For the second year in a row, the decline in Milwaukee County’s population means the broader metro area – which also includes Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties – saw basically no population growth over the last year. Waukesha was up 0.6 percent, Washington increased 0.54 percent and Ozaukee was up 0.29 percent from 2016. The area’s population has grown by 1.3 percent since 2010. The WOW counties on their own are up nearly 2.1 percent

Wisconsin added 22,566 residents statewide, a 0.39 percent increase from 2017 and up 1.91 percent since 2010.

Compared to other states, Wisconsin is in the lower half for population growth. The state ranks 40th since 2010 and was 30th in 2017. Seven states – Texas, North Dakota, Utah, Florida, Colorado, Nevada and Washington – and the District of Columbia have seen double digit percentage increases in their population since 2010.
That isn't good for economic growth in the Age of Fitzwalkerstan, either for Wisconsin in general, and specifically for the state's largest city.

Those Census numbers can be broken out in a number of ways. You can click on the various county and metro area Census estimates through this link, and I encourage you to check it out and use it as you need. In looking at Wisconsin, the drop in Milwaukee was a notable exception to the overall trend of urbanization/ suburbanization, as the largest population counties outside of Milwaukee were the ones that added the most people in 2017.

Largest population growth, Wis Counties 2016-17
Dane County +6,159
Brown County +2,466
Waukesha Co. +2,396
Outagamie Co.+1,405
Racine County +1,061

That Racine County stat is intriguing, since that increase allows Racine to go into positive territory for population change in the 2010s. As for the rest of the state in the 2010s, Marquette University's Charles Franklin had a couple of good graphics that show how the more urban parts of the state have gotten almost all the growth, while many rural areas and mid-sized "Rust Belt"-type counties (like Racine prior to last year) have declined.

Interesting that Franklin won't use that reality of major Dane County growth to adjust his Marquette Law polls to include more people from the Madison media market, and won't include more liberals in the electorate. Maybe he'll adjust next time (HINT!).

Not only did Dane County have the highest rate of growth, but it accounted for more than 40% of the state’s entire population growth, and barely 3 1/2 times more than the next nearest county.

Largest population growth, Wis Counties 2010-17
Dane County +48,341
Brown County +14,045
Waukesha Co. +10,685
Outagamie Co. +9,364
Eau Claire Co. +4,786
St. Croix Co. +4,345
TOTAL +108,195

On the flip side, the areas in the state that has lost the most people this decade has been those areas around smaller cities in the east central parts of the state.

Largest population losses, Wis Counties 2010-17
Manitowoc Co -2,267
Wood County -1,623
Marinette Co. -1,439
Waupaca Co. -1,185
Shawano Co. -1,020

It's also worth noting that the Census figures include numbers on net migration, which goes back to what I began this post with. Milwaukee County and its metro area are bleeding a large amount of people. Interestingly, 50 Wisconsin counties had more people moving in domestically than they had moving out in 2017, which is an improvement from past years. But the statewide numbers were still negative, because Milwaukee County had such severe losses.

Domestic migration, 2017
Waukesha Co. +1,425
Dane County +1,343
St. Croix Co. +628
Brown County +584
Dodge County +420

Wood County -150
Clark County -156
Manitowoc Co. -166
Trempealeau -342
Milwaukee Co. -11,588
TOTAL -2,086

And it wasn't just in 2017 that Milwaukee lost people. In fact, the Census Bureau said Milwaukee County was in the top 10 among US counties for population loss for the second straight year, and the trend of people leaving Milwaukee County and not being replaced with people from other places in America has piled up to an alarming number since Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP came to power in 2010.

Largest domestic out-migration 2010-2017
Milwaukee Co. -55,601
Racine County -4,980
Kenosha County -2,600
Manitowoc Co. -2,414
Sheboygan Co. -2,356

The only reason Milwaukee County hasn't had an overall drop in population since 2010 is because of its relatively young demograpihcs (+41,950 births over deaths) and that is has added over 18,000 people in the 2010s through international immigration. But it's only up 4,349 overall, and that's not going to be enough in a country that keeps growing outside of Wisconsin.

And yet the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce continues to be one of the biggest cheerleaders of Governor Walker and the ALEC-GOP agenda that the Milwaukee area has floundered under. Just this week, those fuckheads cooked up a pile of BS that claimed the Fox-con would increase the state's economy by billions of dollars, a claim Walker dutifully relayed to the public.

People are voting with their feet, and $6.8 million in state tax dollars or faked reports from corporate oligarchs aren't going to counteract the impression of regressive state that won't invest in the quality of life and infrastrucutre that attracts talent - an image that was broadcast nationwide on November 8, 2016.

And that trend won't change until we remove all of the regressive fools in power that have helped lead to this stagnant population growth in much of the state. That includes Walker, WisGOP, and their mediocre puppetmasters at the MMAC and WMC. Electing Rebecca Dallet in 10 days would be a start in getting this state back on track.


  1. It really is a shame that Milwaukee is failing so badly, population-wise, under Tom Barrett's clueless lack of leadership, leading to out-of-control crime and disorder and his focus on that worthless streetcar mess. I see that the WOW (+Dodge) Republican-controlled counties had nice, strong growth. Doesn't surprise me a bit, when you look at the great quality of life here.

    1. So what you're saying is that the suburban policies of economic apartheid and the state GOP putting fiscal handcuffs on the City of Milwaukee are making it harder on them? And that County execs being set on privatization and self-centered cronyism for 16 years didn't work? I agree.

      I have a weird thought- given that Milwaukee County is by far the state's top tourist attraction, and that the City of Milwaukee is the main source of those tourism dollars, maybe we should allow them to keep more of those funds and help their chances of improving quality of life in other parts of town that tourists go to.

      By the way, you don't see Washington County on this list for growth anywhere. Being known as a clueless backwater has its drawbacks, you know. You'd be Sheboygan County without a lake if you weren't so close to Milwaukee. I wouldn't be wanting the big city to decline if I were you.

  2. It really is a shame that the entire state, except for Dane County, is failing so badly under Scott Walker's clueless lack of leadership. The regressive Republican leadership has compromised the quality of life and made the whole state, except Madison, so very unattractive to millennials. Doesn't surprise me a bit that Dane County continues to lead the way in growth, when you look at the great quality of life here compared to the rest of Fitzwalkerstan.

  3. I notice that Mike Gousha also mentioned Wisconsin's low population growth to close his show today. He also compared it to Minnesota adding 2 1/2 times more people in the same 2010-2017 period, and how the Twin Cities metro is growing faster than the Milwaukee metro.

    What he wouldn't say (but should) is that Minnesota chose Democrats for governor that back the biggest city in the state, and invested in K-12 education, rural broadband, and other quality of measures. Wisconsin chose a "divide and conquer" GOP governor who decided to drag down the state's largest city (and its majority-minority residents) to distract mediocre whites in the rest of the state to not demand more.

    You see the result, and the loss of economic competitiveness that has resulted here.