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Pierce population up over 2,500 at decade midpoint

Pierce County's small communities echo a trend statewide by leading in population growth here, according to 2005 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The final estimate of the Jan. 1, 2005, total population for the county is 39,329, information from the state's Department of Administration through County Clerk Jamie Feuerhelm's office indicates. This represents a change of 2,525 people (6.861 percent) since the 2000 census, when the total was 36,804.

Aside from the City of River Falls, a couple of towns led in growth for Pierce municipalities over the five-year period. The Town of Oak Grove topped the list, with a 2005 final estimate of 1,808, up 286 from the 1,522 count of 2000. The Town of Clifton was next, growing to 1,918 in 2005 from 1,657 in 2000, an increase of 261. (The portion of the City of River Falls in the county rose by 461, from 10,242 in 2000 to 10,885 in 2005.)

The only other growth number near those of the two towns was recorded in the City of Prescott, which climbed from 3,764 in '00 to 4,030 in '05, an increase of 266.

Meantime, a Census Bureau report for the entire state, published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press last month, showed small communities led the way, population growthwise. Maiden Rock, with its 29 percent hike from 2004 to 2005, was among the nation's top 100 fastest-growing places, which all had 14 percent or more growth in one year.

State figures indicate the Town of Maiden Rock went from 589 people in 2000 to 613 in 2005 for an increase of 24 during the first five years of this decade. The Village of Maiden Rock had a much more modest jump of four, from 121 to 125, in the same period.

Among other villages in the county, Ellsworth was the leader for the '00 to '05 period, growing by 169, from 2,909 to 3,078. Spring Valley was up by 99 from 1,187 to 1,286; Plum City grew by 22 from 574 to 596; and Bay City gained seven, from 491 to 498. The Village of Elmwood lost 12 people, decreasing to 829 from 841.

The Town of Isabelle was the only town in the county to drop in half-a-decade, losing five people by going from 289 in '00 to 284 in '05.

Otherwise, the rest of the towns had increases from 2000 to 2005, as follows: Town of Diamond Bluff, up 35 from 479 to 514; Town of Ellsworth, up 55 from 1,064 to 1,119; Town of El Paso, up 61 from 690 to 751; Town of Gilman, up 87 from 772 to 859; Town of Hartland, up 43 from 814 to 857; Town of Martell, up 114 from 1,070 to 1,184; Town of River Falls, up 95 from 2,304 to 2,399; Town of Rock Elm, up 20 from 504 to 524; Town of Salem, up 35 from 505 to 540; Town of Spring Lake, up 46 from 550 to 596; Town of Trenton, up 102 from 1,737 to 1,839; Town of Trimbelle, up 56 from 1,511 to 1,567; and Town of Union, up 12 from 618 to 630.