Lincoln, Lake among nation’s fastest growing countiesSouth Dakota clocks 2.4 percent growth, topping US average.
By: Denise Ross, The Daily Republic
With a growth rate of 7.7 percent over two years, the county that hugs the southern side of Sioux Falls ranked 19th nationally for growth, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last week.
Lincoln County gained an estimated 3,468 residents between July 1, 2010, and July 1, 2012, according to a Census ranking of the nation's top 100 fastest growing counties with populations of more than 10,000. That should surprise no one who has watched Sioux Falls balloon from 100,814 residents in 1990 to 153,888 by 2010, the most recent census count specific to the city.
What might surprise some is that Lake County, home to the city of Madison, also made the top 100. Lake County's 571 new residents created a 5.1 percent growth rate, ranking the county 60th nationally. Lake County's estimated population stood at 11,771 at the end of the two-year period.
The gains surprised even local officials, said Madison Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rosie Jamison.
"I was a little taken aback," she said. "But we're excited to see that."
Jamison said the combination of a boost in enrollment at Dakota State University, a trend toward permanent residence on the shores of Lake Madison and some uptick in industry together could account for the growth.
"We see more and more people continue to want to have shoreline property," she said, noting that people can live there and make the 45-mile commute to work in Sioux Falls. "They're turning the cabins into permanent homes."
DSU set a record enrollment of 3,100 in 2012, and the school's website says 1,300 of those students attend the main campus in Madison.
Jamison said as DSU adds students, it also must add faculty and support staff.
"DSU has been continually increasing in enrollment and has been a springboard to much of the growth of the last couple of years," she said.
During that same two-year period, the state as a whole grew 2.4 percent, split evenly over each year. South Dakota's population is now estimated at 833,354. Nationally, the growth rate was 1.7 percent for two years, with 0.7 percentage points of that coming in the latter year.
Leading the nation for population growth -- again, surprising few -- is oil-booming North Dakota at 4 percent growth over two years, 2.2 percentage points of that coming in the latter year. Much of that can be attributed to Williams County, where the 19.2 percent growth rate ranked it No. 1 in the nation.
Davison County grew 1.4 percent over two years, with 0.9 coming in the latter year. It gained an estimated 265 residents over the two years. With a population of 19,769, the county ranks 10th statewide.
Campbell County led for rate of population loss over two years. The county lost an estimated 70 residents, for a drop of 4.8 percent and leaving it with 1,396 residents. South Dakota's second fastest shrinking county is Clark, at 2.9 percent. Clark County lost an estimated 106 residents, leaving it at 3,585.
South Dakota's top 10 fastest growing counties by percentage, July 1, 2010, to July 1, 2012:
*Lincoln County, 7.7 percent
*Buffalo County, 5.6 percent
*Jackson County, 5.3 percent
*Lake County, 5.1 percent
*Harding County, 4.9 percent
*Dewey County, 4.5 percent
*Sully County, 3.9 percent
*Todd County, 3.4 percent
*Shannon County, 3.5 percent
*Minnehaha County, 3.3 percent
South Dakota's top 10 fastest shrinking counties by percentage, July 1, 2010, to July 1, 2012:
*Campbell County, 4.8 percent
*Clark County, 2.9 percent
*Tripp County, 2.8 percent
*Miner County, 2.6 percent
*Hutchinson County, 2.1 percent
*Day County, 1.7 percent
*Fall River County, 1.7 percent
*Grant County, 1.3 percent
*Hand County, 1.3 percent
*Sanborn County, 1.3 percent