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Marshall shows growth in 2010 census results

March 18, 2011
By Deb Gau

The results of the 2010 census might not sound spectacular for Lyon County, with a population increase of a little more than 400 people in the last 10 years. But compared to the number of southwestern Minnesota counties that are losing population, the difference is significant. The results are even better for the city of Marshall, which reported a population increase of more than 7 percent.

"That is positive news for the community," Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes said this week. And the implications are far-reaching, he said.

"Lyon and Nobles County really stick out as the only two counties in the entire southwest Minnesota region" reporting population growth, Byrnes said. A lot of that growth appears to be tied to the cities of Marshall and Worthington.

Minnesota population totals from the 2010 census were released to state legislators on Thursday, and census data on population, race and home ownership in the state is available online.

Overall census data showed the most growth in counties surrounding the Twin Cities, while most of the southwest corner of the state continues to lose residents. Lyon County and Nobles County were the only counties in southwest Minnesota reporting a population increase in the past decade. Lyon County's population increased by 432, for a total of 25,857 residents.

In addition to that rise in population, census data show Lyon County residents moving to Marshall and neighboring towns. Marshall's population rose from 12,735 in 2000 to 13,680 in 2010. The cities of Ghent, Lynd and Cottonwood gained population in the past decade, while cities including Minneota, Tracy and Russell reported population declines.

Fact Box


A breakdown of how area cities and counties

fared in the 2010 Census:

Redwood County - lost 756 people

Lucan - lost 35

Milroy - lost 19

Seaforth - gained 9

Vesta - lost 20

Wabasso - lost 53

Walnut Grove - gained 272

Yellow Medicine County - lost 642

Canby - lost 108

Clarkfield - lost 81

Echo - lost 10

Granite Falls - lost 173

Hanley Falls - lost 19

Hazel Run - lost 1

Porter - lost 7

St. Leo - lost 6

Wood Lake - gained 3

Lincoln County - lost 533

Arco - lost 25

Hendricks - lost 12

Ivanhoe - lost 120

Lake Benton - lost 20

Tyler - lost 75

Murray County - lost 440

Cnurrie - gained 8

Slayton - gained 81

Lyon County - gained 432

Balaton - gained 6

Cottonwood - gained 64

Florence - lost 22

Garvin - lost 24

Ghent - gained 55

Lynd - gained 102

Marshall - gained 945

Minneota - lost 57

Russell - lost 33

Taunton - lost 68

Tracy - lost 105

Neighboring counties didn't fare as well as Lyon County in the census. The most populous, Redwood County, still reported a decline of more than 750 people. Some individual cities in the area, including Slayton and Walnut Grove, reported population growth in the past 10 years.

The census results have several implications for the city of Marshall, Byrnes said. It will be important for Marshall to develop access to housing and health care to accommodate growth. "It will also have some importance for economic development," Byrnes said. From a potential employer's perspective, the population growth "speaks well to the workforce."

"We also have the influence of (Southwest Minnesota State) University," which draws a significant number of 18- to 24-year-olds to the area, Byrnes said. Marshall also has more young professionals than other communities in the area.

Based on growth and population data, Byrnes said, Marshall is now the 75th largest community in Minnesota. The Marshall community would also qualify as a micropolitan area - an urban area with a population between 10,000 and 50,000.

Area counties and cities will be looking at census results more in-depth as the year goes on, Byrnes said. Population tallies are used in determining the boundaries of city voting wards and county commissioner districts. The deadline for local redistricting is in April 2012.

Census data can be accessed online at and in more depth at



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