Census numbers show Wisconsin’s youth population declining

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 10:21 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The 2020 Census has some concerning numbers for Wisconsin.

That’s according economist Dale Knapp with Forward Analytics.

Census data shows the state’s overall population grew 3.6 percent since 2010 but its youth population declined 4.3 percent.

Knapp, who recently published a study on the state’s numbers, said a decline in the state’s under 18 population will causes economic problems.

“That essentially portends trouble for Wisconsin going forward because that younger population is going to be our workforce in 10, 15, 20 years and we’re already facing significant labor shortages,” he said.

Knapp said the major reason for the decline is the state’s diminishing birth rate.

He added two major leading factors to fewer people having kids are economic uncertainty and the cost of child care.

Knapp recommends the state rethink its tax structure.

He also said communities should invest in things that are attractive to people looking to move and stay there.

Despite the state’s overall youth population decline, Eau Claire County’s grew about 5 percent over the past decade.

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