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Census reports Milwaukee gains 7,500 residents, Madison is fastest-growing city

Milwaukee is now America's 23rd largest city, down from 19th at the start of the decade.

But the city still grew by 7,500 residents since 2000, and according to the Census Bureau's new estimate it had almost 605,000 people as of last July.

Milwaukee's population has grown ever since Mayor Tom Barrett successfully challenged lower estimates in 2006.

He says higher education and water quality are the keys to Milwaukee's future growth.

Meanwhile, the Census Bureau said Madison grew by almost 11 percent since the 2000 Census, the most among Wisconsin cities with 50,000 or more.

The state capital now has 232,000 people, up by 22,000-plus from nine years ago.

Kenosha grew by an estimated 7 percent and Eau Claire by 5.5 percent.

Janesville, Waukesha, Oshkosh and Racine also grew. West Allis had the biggest population decline at 3 percent.

Green Bay fell by 1.7 percent, but still has more than 101,000 people. La Crosse had a 2 percent drop.

Appleton's population has held steady since 2000.