Herald JournalHerald Journal, Oct. 4, 2004

New Germany expected to catch up with growth

By Jenni Sebora

New Germany is expected to ride a future population surge, although its numbers are yet to catch up with neighboring cities in Carver County according to recent census readings.

Carver County’s population increased 7.7 percent in just two years according to a United States census bureau estimate, showing the county’s population jumping from 70,205 in 2000 to 75,620 in 2002.

New Germany’s population remained stable, although cities to the east gauged healthy increases through the county.

No city in the county lost population during that timespan and four of the county’s 11 cities experienced double digit increases.

The city of Carver had a 26.3 percent increase in those two years followed by Victoria, Watertown, and Waconia with increases of 19 percent, 12.6 percent, and 11.5 percent respectively.

Most of the county’s cities experienced healthy growth. Cologne’s population was up 8.9 percent, Chaska 8.6, Mayer 8.3, and Chanhassen 4.7 percent.

Hamburg had an increase of 3.7 percent while Norwood Young America was up by 1.7 percent.

Two cities in the county had increases of more than 1,000 people between the year 2000 and 2002. Chaska added 1,512 people and Chanhassen 1,024.

Among the county’s townships, growth was not as consistent. On a percentage basis, Chaska Township grew the most with a 3.2 percent gain.

Other percentage leaders included Hollywood up 2.5 percent, Hancock up 2.4 percent, Dahlgren gained 2.2 percent, Young America up 2 percent, and San Francisco and Camden both saw an increase of 1.3 percent between the years of 2000 and 2002.

Two townships, Watertown and Laketown, lost population. Watertown was down 0.8 percent and Laketown was down 0.9 percent

Paul Moline, Carver County planner, offered some reasons for the lesser growth in the townships.

Moline noted that rural zoning regulations make it more cumbersome for growth to occur in the country and that the households currently in the various townships have fewer members per household as family sizes shrink.

Explosive growth is


However, if forecasts prepared by the Metropolitan Council for the county for the next 25 years are close to being accurate, all areas of the county will experience tremendous, if not explosive growth.

New Germany is expected to have an increase of 139 percent to 830 residents.

Carver County as a whole is expected to more than double in the coming decades going from 70,205 in 2000 to 141,020 in the year 2030.

The cities in the eastern portion of the county are predicted to see the highest increase in the number of residents in their communities.

The population of Chanhassen alone is predicted to increase by 20,179 people to a total of 40,500 by 2030.

Chaska is predicted to grow by 16, 951 to a total of 34,400 and Waconia by 8,386 to a total of 15,200 during that same time period.

Projections of the cities growth viewed on a percentage basis reveal staggering numbers.

Every city will have double digit increases by the year 2030 with seven cities showing triple digit gains.

The Metropolitan Council predicts the city of Carver’s population to increase by 247 percent up to 3,134 residents. Mayer will be up 206 percent to 1,700 people, Victoria will have 7,575 residents up 188 percent, Norwood Young America population should be 8,800 people which would represent an increase of 183 percent.

These numbers are regarded as conservative, Moline.

If true, Waconia will “only” experience a population increase of 123 percent.

There are several factors involved in Carver County’s growth. According to the Census Bureau, at least three times as many people were born in the county as died, following a national trend toward an overall aging population.

For example, the Census Bureau lists 297 county residents over the age of 85 in 1980 and 727 people in that same age bracket in the year 2000. Minnesota Planning projections estimate that number to be 1,270 in the year 2020.

In addition, it appears that when people come to Carver County, they like it, and plan to stay.

In a 2002 Carver County residential survey by Decision Resources Ltd., 71 percent of the people surveyed planned to live in the county for at least six years and 65 percent for 10 years or more.

Finally, residents of the county are enjoying a higher standard of living.

Figures provided by the Census Bureau show that the median household income in the county went from $39,188 to $65,540 and per capita income rose from $21,063 to $35,496.

During the same time period the percent of the population living in poverty fell from 4.9 percent to 3.5 percent.

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