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The Demographics section focuses on population growth, age distribution, and diversity in the Fox Cities region.
From 2010 to 2020, the populations of Fox Cites’ three core counties, Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago grew at a rate faster than Wisconsin but slower than the United States. The largest 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(1), 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. It is widely understood that the economic crash in 2008 has impacted population growth, with 2012 seeing the slowest national population growth rate since the Great Depression(2), and this is reflected in the Fox Cities population data.
The Fox Cities population across a three-county region 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 three-county region saw an increase in the percentage of the population age 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). Alongside this, the median age in all counties increased between 2010 and 2020 by 3.4 years in Calumet to 40.9, 1.7 years in Outagamie to 38.4 and 0.9 years in Winnebago to 38.3. These changes mirror a wider national trend, which saw 1.3 years increase in the median age from 36.9 in 2010 to 38.2 in 2020, 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(3) and the youngest will turn 65 by 2029.
Wisconsin is comparatively less diverse than the United States as a whole, with minority populations making up 19.4% of the total population, compared to 39.9% nationwide. From 2010 to 2020, minority populations in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties all rose slightly, by 3.2 percentage points on average. Statewide, the proportion of minority populations grew by 3.4 percentage points between 2010 and 2020, compared to 4.6 percentage points nationwide. Diversity, however, is on the increase in the Fox Cities region. The proportion of minority populations in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties all grew between 2.5 and 3.5 percentage points in 10 years, and the number of different nationalities represented in the Fox Cities region is also increasing. The incoming refugee populations between 2006 and 2020 has refugees from East Asia & the Pacific and South & Central Asia, alongside an increase in refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Looking at specific countries, during 2006-2010 most refugees came from Laos. From 2011-2015, nearly 450 refugees came from Burma, Iraq, and Congo, over 100 individuals from each country. During 2016-2020, more than 300 refuges came from Congo with smaller numbers coming from Burma, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
(1) Population projections from Wisconsin Department of Administration (WDOA) and East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (ECWRPC): 2013.
(2) U.S. population grew by just 0.72% in the year ended July 1, 2013, the slowest growth rate since 1937.