Lime Springs gains population

Lime Springs is the only town in Howard County to show an increase in population over the past 10 years, according to the 2010 Census, although just barely. In 2000 the population was 496 and by 2010, the town gained nine people for an increase of 1.8 percent. It was the first time in 50 years, Lime Springs cracked the 500 mark.
On the other hand, Chester saw the greatest percentage of loss in population from 151 in 2000 to 127 in 2010. A difference of 15.9 percent or a drop in population of 24.
Protivin saw the next biggest decline in population from 317 to 283, a difference of 34 for 10.7 percent.
Elma also took a big hit by losing 52 individuals, for a total of 8.7 percent. Its population was 598 in 2000 and 546 in the last census in 2010. In the prior 10 years, the town lost 55 for a total of 107 in 20 years.
In 2010, Riceville had gained 13 from 1990 but lost that and more in the latest census. In 2000, the town had a population of 840 and in 2010 it fell below 800 for the first time in 100 years to 785 for a loss of 55 at 6.5 percent. Of the local towns, Riceville lost the greatest number of residents, although Chester lost the greatest percent.
Cresco had the lowest percentage of loss at 0.9 percent. In 2000, its population was 3,905 compared with 3,868 in 2010, a loss of 37. Although a loss hurts, it shouldn’t feel so bad because from 1990 to 2000 Cresco had a population explosion of 236!
Obviously with just one town increasing in population, the overall count in Howard County was down 366 for a loss of 3.7 percent. (If adding numbers, remember half of Riceville is in Mitchell County.)
Although Ridgeway is in Winneshiek County, it is in the Howard-Winneshiek School district and actually showed a larger increase in population (7.5 percent) than Lime Springs. In 2000, its population was 293 and in 2010 it was 315, a gain of 22 persons.
Iowa’s population for the most recent census was 3,046,355 over 2000’s 2,926,324. This is an increase of 4.1 percent or 120,031. Unfortunately other states showed more rapid growth and Iowa loses a congressional district in the 2012 election.
Sen. Mary Jo Wilhelm of Cresco stated, “By March 31, we expect that the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency will release a proposed map that will include Congressional, Iowa House and Iowa Senate Districts. “I know my district will be larger, but I do not know how it will look. It may change slightly, or it may be totally different; one doesn’t know until we get the map.”
There will be four public hearings across the state starting April 4 to propose the new Congressional and Legislative Redistricting Plan to the Iowa General Assembly. The closest will be April 4 at Council Bluffs, starting at 6:00 It will also be able to be viewed at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in Mason City or at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo on April 6.
For more information on the census, including race percentages, go to


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