The 2010 Census count is underway, and the final estimates based on the last census show Iowa continued its pace of slow population growth. The coordinator of the State Library’s Data Center program, Beth Henning, says the population grew near the bigger cities between 2008 and 2009, while it dropped in more rural areas. She says metropolitan counties grew by 8.9% while non-metropolitan counties lost 2.1% of their residents during the decade.
More than 56% of Iowans now live in metropolitan areas. A county with suburbs to the west of Des Moines still sees the biggest gains.
Henning says Dallas County continues to be the fastest growing county in Iowa and ranked 28th nationwide between 2008 and 2009. Dallas County grew by over 50%. There were 22 counties that gained population, while 77 lost population. Henning says the current count will let us see how accurate those population estimates are.
Henning says they found the annual estimates were low in the 1980’s and 1990’s, so they are anxious to see how the estimates match up with the actual census count that’s underway. Henning says the impact of the county is why there’s so much effort out into getting everyone to participate.
Henning says she can’t stress how important it is for people to complete the census forms as the count is the starting point for the estimates that take place for the next 10 years. Iowa’s population is currently estimated at just over three-million people. You can see more about the population estimates for individual counties on-line at: www.iowadatacenter.org.