The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 14, 2013

Census: One in three counties is dying

(Continued)

"Federal funding has helped many cities weather the decline in private sector jobs," Mather said.

Other findings:

—Exurbs, the far-flung suburbs on the edge of metropolitan areas, continue to see their growth fizzle after their heady days during the housing boom. Growth dipped last year to 0.35 percent, the lowest in more than a decade. In 2006, exurban growth was as high as 2.1 percent.

—Roughly 46 percent of rural counties just beyond the edge of metropolitan areas experienced natural decrease, compared to 17 percent of urban counties.

—As a whole, the population of non-metropolitan areas last year declined by 0.1 percent, compared with growth of 1 percent for large metro areas and 0.7 percent for small metropolitan areas.

—In the last year, four metro areas reached population milestones: Los Angeles hit 13 million, Philadelphia reached 6 million, Las Vegas crossed 2 million and Grand Rapids, Mich., passed 1 million.

—Chattahoochee County, Ga., home to Fort Benning, was the nation's fastest-growing county, increasing 10.1 percent in the last year.

The census estimates are based on local records of births and deaths, Internal Revenue Service records of people moving within the United States and census statistics on immigrants.

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