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LIFE Study tells us who we are

The Leading Indicators for Excellence (LIFE) Study is intended to help us decide as a community what areas of life here are good as is and what about our quality of life has room for improvement. We will explore that in posts each week here, but for starters, let’s see what the LIFE Study says about who we are.

The LIFE Study has been conducted every five years since 2006. It is sponsored by United Way Fox Cities, the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. The study looks at Outagamie, Winnebago and Calumet counties. Here’s what the Demographics Section says about us.

There are more of us. The area is growing about at the national rate, except for Calumet County (which includes a portion of Appleton) seeing a growth spurt of 10.6% between 2006 and 2010. As of 2014, there were 401,008 of us. Based on growth estimates for 2010 to 2040, Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago’s populations are expected to increase by 31%, 21.8% and 15.7%, respectively. See population growth.

Minority populations are growing faster. With a minority population of 17.8%, we are still 20 percentage points more Caucasian than the nation as a whole. Our largest minority group is Hispanic at about 4%, followed by Asian and multi-racial. See chart of minority populations

We are getting older.  Between 2006 and 2014, there was an increase in the percentage of the population age 45 and older, and a small decrease in the percentage of the population under age 45. The median age in all counties increased slightly to age 37.7 in Outagamie, 38 in Winnebago and 39.6 in Calumet. See age distribution.

Most surprising fact: The population of the three counties combined is larger than Tulsa, Okla., Cleveland, Ohio, or New Orleans.

Go to to drill down through enough data to satisfy any statistics wonk.

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