Dane County continued a decade-long trend of population growth in 2019, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The county gained about 4,747 residents last year, an increase of just under 1%.
That was the largest numeric gain among the 72 counties and the fourth-fastest growth rate, according to the census estimates.
The growth was fueled equally by natural growth — more births than deaths — and migration. Domestic migration accounted for about 30% of the growth and international migration about 20%.
The Madison metro area grew by 0.7% to 659,927, dropping one spot to 89th-largest in the country.
The second-largest numeric gain was in Waukesha County, which added 1,575 people. Vilas County, which gained 267 residents, had the fastest growth rate, at 1.2%.
Milwaukee County lost about 1,243 residents, or about 0.1% of its population, continuing a slide that began in 2016. It remains the state’s most populous county.
Twenty-four other counties lost residents as the state’s overall population grew by 15,028, an increase of 0.3%.
Dane County’s population has grown by 12% since the 2010 census, more than any other county. The 58,614 additional residents account for more than 40% of the state’s overall population growth in those 10 years.
The county-level population numbers released Thursday are from the final series of estimates to be released before the 2020 census, the once-a-decade count of every person in the country that is currently underway.
Annual population estimates for smaller geographic areas will be released later this year. Data from the 2020 census are scheduled to be released starting in December and continuing through 2021.
The decennial count is used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives and guides the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funds.
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