Delaware County’s Population Slowly Declining

Delaware County is slowly shrinking in population.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau this past week shows Delaware County and other smaller counties in Iowa are losing residents.

Iowa State University Economist Dave Swenson says the trend of small towns becoming smaller is seen throughout the western Midwest.

Here in Delaware County, the population (as of July 1st) is 17,327. That’s 76 people less than the year before – and over 400 people less than the year 2010. Surrounding counties, with the exception of Linn County, have seen similar declines.

For decades, data has shown high rates of Iowans younger than age 45 moving away from small towns.

There are a couple of smaller towns that are actually gaining population – for example, Spirit Lake has grown by three-point-four percent since 2010.

Want to see how Delaware County’s population breaks down as far as race, gender and age? You can check out all that data online at


(audio courtesy of Radio Iowa)