Kinexus report shows slight population gain in tri-county area for 2017

    After years of population loss, the tri-county region of Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties showed a slight gain in 2017 according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.  The region gained an estimated 426 residents between 2016 to 2017.
     “We have three major economic challenges that we’re currently facing as a region - a declining population, an aging workforce, and lower educational attainment,” said Kinexus CEO, Todd Gustafson. “Stemming the population loss starts to help address one of those big three challenges.
    “While the new Census estimates are positive, we have seen a two percent overall decline in population since 2010 in Berrien County, a two percent decline in Cass County, and a one percent decline in Van Buren County over the past seven years.”
     The numbers in the region breakdown as follows:
    Berrien County
    2016:     154,157
    2017:     154,259
    Gain of 102 or .10%
 
    Cass County
    2016:     51,209
    2017:     51,381
    Gain of 172 or .30%
 
    Van Buren County
    2016:     75,201
    2017:     75,353
    Gain of 152 or .20%
     “The number one issue we hear about from local employers is the availability of a skilled workforce,” added Gustafson.  “With the number of job opportunities available in our region, we are hopeful that this is the start to a positive trend.”
     The annual estimates from the Census Bureau are based on records for housing, births, deaths, and tax filings.

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