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1997 census estimates show population lossin Kittson County


Cindy Stewart
Kittson County Enterprise

April 22, 1998

While some counties in Minnesota showed population gainsfrom 1990 to 1997, Kittson County showed a loss.

The United States Census Bureau reported a loss of l7.1percent in population in Kittson County from 1990 to 1997.

Other counties showing a loss were Clearwater, 1.3 percent;Marshall, 4.3; Norman, 3.2; Polk 1.5 and Red Lake, 4 percent.

Tim Gillespy, a state demographer with Minnesota Planning,said in many cases, those counties posting losses are following long termtrends toward decline.

"They are counties where there's been a long termout-run migration of young people. Some of these counties have quite oldpopulations. That, coupled with no real strong industrial draws for migrationwould tend to indicate decline." Gillespy said.

Every year the Northwest Regional Development Commissionpouts together an over-all economic development report which lists employmentand population trends, regional sales for the year, services and other statistics.

Karl Frigaard, economic and community program directorsaid the trends continue to look more and more similar to decreases notedin previous years.

Kittson County's population in the 1950s was 9,600. Overthe years, the number of people declined by 1,000 every 10 years. The censusbureau estimates a population of 5,358 people for Kittson County now.

In addition to declining populations, the age of KittsonCounty residents continues to get older. In 1970, the percent of 85 yearold residents and over was 1.2 percent. In 1990, it was 3.2 percent.

The number of births in Kittson County, over the last sevenyears, totals 436. The number of deaths during the same time period equals653.

Not all the counties in Northwestern Minnesota reportedsuch negative statistics in the recent census.

On the flip side, Beltrami, Roseau and Lake of the Woodscounties show significant gains in population.

Beltrami showed a 12.8 percent gain; Roseau posted an 8.5percent gain, and Lake of the Woods, 11.4 percent gain.

The census bureau estimates an increase in population inRoseau County of 1,276 people since 1990. Lake of the Woods County has 463more people.

Lake of the Woods County has 463more people.