Herald JournalHerald Journal, August 30, 2004

Winsted, Lester to set pace for McLeod County growth

By Jenni Sebora

If projections from the Minnesota State Demographic Center are realized in the next census, McLeod County will continue to experience steady growth in the coming years, with the City of Winsted leading the way.

The data prepared by the State Demographic Center through the year 2003 estimates the current population of Winsted to be 2,253, a 7.5 percent increase in population over the city’s year 2000 census figure of 2,094.

The McLeod County population estimate was 35,872, up from the year 2000 census figure of 34,898, or an increase of 2.7 per cent.

The state’s projections indicate that the largest growth is in the northern half of the county, with the largest percentage of population growth occurring in the northeastern portion.

Lester Prairie’s estimated percentage of growth is second only to the City of Winsted among all cities and townships in the county. The rate of growth for Lester Prairie, 5.5 percent, was more than double the county’s growth rate. The state estimates that since the year 2000, 76 more people reside in Lester Prairie, making the city’s population 1,453.

The area’s townships have experienced significant growth, as well. Bergen Township’s growth rate for the last three years was estimated at 4.8 percent, and Winsted Township’s at 3.6 percent, putting their population figures at 924 and 1023 respectively.

Of all townships in the county, Hutchinson Township was the largest at 5.2 percent. Collins Township had an estimated increase of 3.7 percent.

Through 2003, the state’s estimated population changes for the county’s other townships were: Acoma 2.7 percent, Rich Valley 2.4 percent, Round Grove 1.4 percent, Sumter 1 percent, Hale 0 percent, Helen -0.9 percent, Glencoe Township -0.17 percent, Lynn -0.6 percent, Penn -2.9 percent, and Hassan Valley -16.3 percent.

Of the remaining cities, the state estimated that Hutchinson added 465 people, for a total population of 13,545, or an increase of 3.5 percent. Glencoe was up 3.3 percent to an estimated population of 5,633, Silver Lake 2.8 percent to 783, and Brownton 1.4 percent to 819.

The state estimated that Biscay had no population change, that Plato lost 1.4 percent of its residents and that Stewart’s population decreased by 1.9 percent.

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