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Fox Cities LIFE Study finds population growing, while diversity of the area increasing slowly

Posted on Aug 5, 2022, by

The population of the Fox Cities three core counties grew at a rate faster than Wisconsin but slower than the United States from 2010 to 2020, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau that has been updated in the demographics category of the  Fox Cities Leading Indicators for Excellence (LIFE) Study.

In addition, Outagamie, Calumet and Winnebago counties saw an increase in their aging population but a decrease in those under age 18. The region continues to be less diverse than the rest of the United States, as the minority population grew slightly.

The LIFE Study provides a data-focused overview of the quality of life in the Fox Cities area. The LIFE Study began in 2001 and offers a look at how our community is doing. It provides insights, trends and data to gauge the quality of life in health and human services issues in the Fox Cities. The data presented should be a catalyst for community conversation about how we all can bring about important change, improve the quality of life, and put effort to the greatest needs in our community.

United Way’s Rachel Podoski with WHBY’s Josh Dukelow

Check out this WHBY radio podcast interview with Rachel Podoski from United Way Fox Cities, as well as our recent Voices From the Valley Podcast:

The study also is benchmarked against select counties, Wisconsin and the nation, with trending information.

The largest population increase was in Outagamie, which saw its population jump by 7.1% between 2010 and 2020, compared to 4.4% in Calumet and 3.6% in Winnebago. Based on 2010 to 2040 population estimates for the region, Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago’s populations are expected to increase by 31%, 21.8% and 15.7% respectively. Population growth in the Fox Cities region is increasing at a rate that might make 2040 predictions attainable.

The Fox Cities population across the three counties also continues to age, and the pace of that aging increased in the second half of the 2010s as compared to the first half of that decade. Between 2010 and 2020, the Fox Cities saw an increase in the percentage of the population aged 65 and older (12.1% in 2010 to 15.4% in 2020). While at the same time, all three counties saw a small decrease in the percentage of the population under age 18 (24.3% to 22.3% in the three counties combined). These changes mirror a wider national trend, which is often attributed to the Baby Boom generation driving growth in older population cohorts. The oldest of the baby boom generation turned 65 in 2011 and the youngest will turn 65 by 2029.

Diversity is on the increase in the Fox Cities. The minority populations in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties all grew between 2.5% and 3.5% in 10 years. The number of nationalities in the Fox Cities is also increasing. The refugee relocations between 2006 and 2020 have refugees from East Asia and the Pacific, and South and Central Asia, along with an increase in refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Most of the refugees came from Laos, then Burma, Iraq, and Congo, with smaller numbers coming from Burma, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

The Fox Cities LIFE Study website is updated on an ongoing basis, when new data is available, which may or may not include the current COVID-19 time period. Interactive charts are now available on the Fox Cities LIFE Study website, with a summary of the new information on the “What’s New” page.

Population, aging and diversity Updates

Three indicator charts updated in the Life Study:

Sources for the Population, Aging and Diversity updates include  U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau 5-Year Averages, and Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

The Fox Cities LIFE Study is funded by United Way Fox Cities and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.

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