Census Bureau Releases Decennial Population Data for the State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s population rose to 5,893,718, a 3.6% increase from the 2010 census, retaining its position as the 20th most populous state. Its population growth rate ranked 34th among the 50 states. Altogether, the U.S. population rose to 331,449,281, the Census Bureau said, a 7.4% increase that was the second-slowest ever.

In Wisconsin, the census data show areas such as Dane County, Brown County (Green Bay) and Outagamie County (Appleton) gaining the most people, while Milwaukee County and 20 rural counties lost population.

Dane County added 73,431 people over the past decade, a 15% increase, making it the fastest-growing county in the state, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday.

The data show Milwaukee County lost 8,246 residents over the past decade, a decrease of 0.9%, for a 2020 population of 939,489, still the largest county in the state by far by population.

The county that shrank the fastest over the past decade was Richland County, in southwestern Wisconsin, losing 717 residents or 4% of its population. The next two biggest losers were in rural northern Wisconsin: Taylor County, which lost 776 residents and Rusk County, which lost 567 residents, both 3.8% declines.

State legislators will use the census data to ensure that Wisconsin’s political maps reflect how the state’s population has grown and shifted since the 2010 census. With a detailed understanding of where Wisconsin’s population resides in 2020, they can update the boundaries of the state’s eight congressional, 99 Assembly and 33 state Senate districts, and local leaders can redraw municipal and county board districts.