Daily Bread for 4.13.23: Newcomers Account for Most Wisconsin Population Growth Since 2020

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 79. Sunrise is 6:15 AM and sunset 7:35 PM for 13h 20m 05s of daytime. The moon is in its third quarter with 49.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 2006, someone photographs a rat in front of a toy piano, and that photograph goes on to become an annual April 13th meme (Neil Banging Out the Tunes) on the web.

By JoshBM16 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Sarah Lehr reports Wisconsin has regained almost all the population it lost since 2020, but rebounds have been uneven (‘Wisconsin is attracting new residents, but post-pandemic growth rates vary widely by county’):

Wisconsin has regained almost all the population it lost since 2020, despite the fact that deaths are outnumbering births in the state.

But even as more people move to Wisconsin, the state’s post-pandemic population gains have been uneven. Milwaukee County continues to shrink, while the Madison area in Dane County is surging. And several rural counties in northern Wisconsin are seeing relatively high population growth rates, recently released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show.

Transplants account for statewide growth, as more Wisconsinites die than are born

Between the official U.S. Census count on April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021, Wisconsin lost 13,624 people, a drop of about 0.23 percent. 

But, by July 1, 2022, Wisconsin had regained most of that loss, according to the updated census estimates. The state had nearly 5.9 million residents in 2022, which was only 1,186 fewer people than were tallied just after the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

New people relocating to Wisconsin — whether from overseas or from other states — accounted for much of the population rebound between 2021 and 2022, said John Johnson, a research fellow at the Marquette Law School’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education.

That’s because deaths have been exceeding births in Wisconsin every year since 2020. 

“Even last year, which was an improvement for the state, we still had more deaths than births,” Johnson said. “Migration is going to be the driver of population change, growth or decline, going forward.”


Although Wisconsin has as a whole has attracted enough transplants in the last year to nearly make up for its post-2020 population drop, rebound patterns vary widely across the state. 

Those divides could have lasting economic implications, as workforces grow or shrink. Population also translates to political power, since census counts are used to calculate representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and to help determine the boundaries of state and local political districts. 

There’s a faction that would rather have fewer people, in the city, in the county, in the state. A preference for fewer, however, leads to lesser community prospects. 

First wild beaver in Wales in years caught on hidden camera felling trees:

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