Preliminary census report shows slight dip in county's population

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

The population of Linn County declined less than 1 percent between 2010 and 2020. Those are early figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, which conducted a nationwide census last year.


The bureau released a limited amount of information on Aug. 12 and is expected to release further results later this year. The posting of population numbers was done early to help states in their current efforts at redistricting for state and federal offices.


Kansas is expected to maintain all four of its current seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Statewide, there was a 3 percent population growth with 2,937,880 residents in 2020.

According to information released by the bureau, the total Linn County population dropped from 9,656 residents in 2010 to 9,591 in 2020, a decrease of 65 people or 0.7 percent decrease.


The number of residents 18 years of age or older remained essentially stationary over the decade, with 7,416 people in 2010 and 7,418 residents in 2020, a gain of two people.

Also included in the preliminary figures were numbers for the three census tracts in the county. They showed a 2 percent decrease in population in the southern half of the county down to 4,216 residents.


The northern half of the county, split into two census tracts had a combined population of 5,375 residents. One of those tracts, which appears to be everything northeast of the Marais des Cygnes River saw a 0.1 percent decrease in population down to 2,595.


The rest of the area in the northern half of the county saw and increase of 0.9 percent, up to 2,780 residents.


The county is becoming slightly more ethnically diverse. In 2010, 9,307 residents, or 96.4 percent, were identified as white. However, last year, 8,906, or 92.9 percent were listed as white, a 4.3 percent decrease. Among residents 18 and older, whites accounted for 96.7 percent of the population in 2010 falling to 93.6 percent last year.


Other ethnic groups in 2020 were:

  • Black, 67 resident or 0.7 percent of the total population, up from 43 in 2010.

  • American Indian, 48 or 0.5 percent, down from 63 in 2010.

  • Asian, 20 or 0.2 percent, down from 30 a decade ago.

  • Pacific Islander, eight or 0.1 percent, up from six in 2010.

  • Other, 44 residents or .05 percent.

The largest jump came from people who identified with two or more of the groups listed above. Checking two or more boxes for ethnic group were 498 people, or 5.2 percent of the total population. That was up from 148 residents in 2010, a 236.5 percent increase.


Those who identified as Hispanic or Latino was also up in 2020: 238 residents said they were from a Hispanic ethnic group compared to 186 in 2010, a 28.0 percent increase.


The initial census data also had housing information. The total number of housing units in 2020 was 5,065, down 381 units from 5,446 in 2010. That was an overall decrease of 7 percent.


There were 3,982 occupied housing units in 2020, representing 78.6 percent of the structures in the county. That was down 0.9 percent from 2010 when there were 4,020 occupied units.


The number of vacant houses dropped considerably over the decade. The census found 1,083 vacant houses in the county, or 21.4 percent of all housing units. That was down 343 houses from the 1,426 vacant units counted in 2010, a 24.1 percent drop.


The recently released information had a total of residents in an institutional setting. In Linn County’s case, the only institutional quarters was the skilled nursing facility in Pleasanton. Thirteen people resided there at the time of the census.

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