Mower County sees a population increase

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 6, 2002

The 2000 census figures are in and there's good news: Mower County is bigger and more diverse than it was in 1990.

According to census figures, the county had 38,603 people in 2000, an increase of 3.3 percent from the 37,385 people who lived in Mower County in 1990.

Of those, 94.7 percent are white, 4.3 percent are Hispanic, 1.5 percent are of Asian descent, 0.6 percent are African American and 0.2 percent report they are of American Indian and Alaskan native descent.

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The biggest increase in a minority population between 1990 and 2000 was made by the Hispanics. During the last census, only 248 people in Mower County – less than one percent of the population – claimed they were of Hispanic origin.

According to the 2000 census, the county has 16,251 housing units with a home ownership rate of 78.2 percent and there are an average of 2.42 people per household.

However, compared to state averages, Mower County still falls short in the categories of median household income, number of people living in poverty and number of children living in poverty.

The median household income is a midpoint – half the households in the county earn more, half earn less.

In 1990, the median income was $23,763 (which was below the state's average of $30,909), 9.8 percent of the people were living below poverty and 12.5 percent of children under 18 years of age were living below poverty.

Today, the median household income of Mower County residents is $34,330, which is somewhat below the state's average of $41,591.

In relation to the county's lower median income, the percentages of people living below the poverty level and the number of children living below the poverty level are higher than the state's averages.

In Mower County, 10.1 percent of the population lives below poverty, compared to the state's 8.9 percent, and 15.4 percent of the county's children are below poverty, while the state average is 13.1 percent.

For more information about the 2000 census, visit their Web site at

Amanda L. Rohde can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at