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Where did everybody go?

By Staff | Mar 29, 2011

There are not as many residents in Faribault County as there were 10 years ago.

In fact, there are 1,628 fewer people.

That is according to a U.S. Census report released last week.

The county report shows the population was 16,181 in 2000, but had dropped to 14,553 in 2010 – loss of 10.06 percent.

Although the official report for individual cities has not been released, the League of Minnesota Cities web site is reporting the results for every city in the state.

According to those figures, every city in Faribault County – save for one – lost population.

Minnesota Lake was the single city to gain, adding six persons in the 10-year span. It went from 681 to 687 residents.

The city of Frost showed the largest percentage of population decrease – a 21.12 percent decline. The city had 251 residents in 2000, but was at 198 in 2010, a loss of 53 persons.

Blue Earth, as the largest city in the county, also had the largest actual reduction in population.

The county seat went from an official total of 3,621 in 2000 to 3,353 in 2010, a drop of 268 persons.

That translates into a negative 7.4 percent.

Wells shows a loss of 151 persons, going from 2,494 to 2,343. Winnebago went from 1,487 to 1,437, a drop of 50.

Overall, the cities in Faribault County went from a total population of 10,950 in 2000 to 9,998 in 2010, a loss of 952 persons.

Individual results for the townships in the county are not yet available, but the total numbers show all the townships combined lost 676 people, going from a 2000 total of 5,231 down to 4,555 in 2010.

The actual census figures for cities are expected to be released in April or May, Blue Earth City Administrator Kathy Bailey says.

Of course, one of the major uses of census information is to redistrict political subdivisions.

Blue Earth may have to change the borders of its three wards, Bailey says.

“The League of Minnesota Cities is already in contact with the state to see if this will be necessary,” Bailey says. “The League will assist Blue Earth and other charter cities in the state with any redistricting.”

Bailey says if a change is needed, it may be as simple as moving a ward’s boundary by one block.

The boundaries of the five county commissioner districts may also have to be realigned. However, County Auditor/Treasurer John Thompson says no decision on this has been made at this time.

Both Thompson and Bailey say any re-drawing of voting district lines will need to be done before the next election.