by Joni Astrup
Elk River’s population has increased 40 percent in the last decade, according to new 2010 census figures.
The city’s population now is 22,974, up from 16,447 in the 2000 census.
That makes Elk River is the 43rd largest city in Minnesota, according to City Clerk Tina Allard. There are 854 cities in the state.
City Administrator Lori Johnson said a 40 percent increase in population over the past 10 years is significant.
“It shows continued growth at a manageable pace,” she said.
Entrance signs to Elk River list the city’s population at 23,187, which was an estimate from the state demographer’s office. The signs will be changed to reflect the city’s official population of 22,974.
Some cities more than double in population
Overall, Minnesota’s population rose 7.8 percent from 2000 to 2010.
Locally, however, the growth rate was often much more robust.
Despite the economic slowdown in recent years, over the last decade many area cities and townships experienced double-digit growth.
Two area cities even saw their populations more than double between 2000 and 2010.
Rogers’ population jumped from 3,588 to 8,597 while Otsego’s population increased from 6,389 to 13,571.
In the case of Rogers, some of the population growth is due to annexations of parts of Hassan Township.
Only one area city — Dayton — showed a population decrease according to the census. Dayton’s population dropped by 28 people between 2000 and 2010. Dayton city officials, however, question if that’s accurate.
City Clerk Sandy Borders said there have been more than 100 new homes built in Dayton in the last 10 years. “If you take two people per household, that’s 200 more people,” she said.
The city plans to contest the census numbers, she said.