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Stutsman County sees population increase

Population estimates for Stutsman County and the surrounding area are up, according to new information released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 2013 population estimate for Stutsman County is 21,120 compared to a 2012 estimate of 20,986 and a 2010 actual count of 21,100. The Stutsman County increase amounts to 0.6 percent in the past year.

The Census Bureau released the information Thursday.

“This is the first time we show an increase in that area,” said Kevin Iverson, manager of the census office for the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The increases are small but it indicates the area is at least steady.”

Gary Riffe, president of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp., said any level of growth is good.

“Every new person we can get is good,” he said. “We like growth and young families are especially good.”

Records from the Census Bureau indicated births were up and deaths were down in the region indicating a younger population, Iverson said.

The nine-county area of Wells, Foster, Griggs, Stutsman, Barnes, Logan, LaMoure, McIntosh and Dickey counties also showed an increase for the first time with 153 new residents between the 2010 actual census and the 2013 estimate, according to records compiled by Iverson.

“Foster, Stutsman, Barnes and LaMoure counties showed increases, the rest were decreases,” he said. “If you look back at the 2010 actual to the 2012 estimate, all of those counties were losing population.”

The counties increasing in population are along Interstate 94 or U.S. Highway 281, he noted.

“Statewide, the counties losing population tend to be more off the beaten path,” he said.

Iverson said 38 out of North Dakota’s 53 counties showed a population increase between 2010 and 2013. Some of the population increases were small compared to the large jumps in residents in the Oil Patch counties.

“Counties all across the state gained population,” he said. “Not just the Oil Patch and the big cities.”

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at