Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The dynamics of population change is one of the most important variables in the Comprehensive - planning process. The county's physical environment has, and will continue to be, developed or preserved to meet the demands of a changing population. Growth or decline in total population, as weil as structural changes within the population, can have a profound impact on future uses of the land and the provision of necessary public services and infrastructure.

Change in the total population is measured in two ways. The first of these is called natural change, or the number of births versus the number of deaths experienced. The second is net migration, or the number of persons moving into the area versus the number leaving the area. Both factors have had a tremendous influence on population change in Banner County.

Historical Population Change

Banner County has experienced significant population change over the decades. in general terms it can be stated that the economies of this rural-oriented county have not performed at a level that can sustain population growth. Since 1930, the county has experienced continual population loss. Several factors have influenced this, including a national trend of urbanization, improving agricultural mechanization, the need for farm consolidation, or larger farm operations to produce an adequate income: and a lack of industrial diversification which resulted in fewer employment opportunities, especially for young adults.

Population Composition

An important consideration in planning for the future is the distribution of the population by age and gender. Trends and projections based upon the age and gender of the population can assist in identifying future needs in areas such as employment, housing, education, and recreation. To evaluate changes in age group structure, the county's population was divided into four age group categories as follows: children (0-4), school age (5-17), adults (18- 64), and retirement (65 and over).

From 2010 to 2020, changes among age groups occurred in all age groups. During this time period, the county's adult population decreased by 13.8%. Some of this decrease can be attributed to the young adults leaving to go to college or to find more lucrative employment elsewhere. Infants and school-age children increased over the 10-year period, as next generation families and new residents moving in from neighboring states.

During the same time period, the number of retirement age persons increased by 4.3%. The increase in retirement age persons can be attributed to persons in the upper end of the middle age group shifting into retirement over the last ten years and a growing population of active retired moving to Banner County.

The percentage of males (48.5%) to females (51.5%) in the general population shifted in the last 10 years, with a slight increase in females as of 2020 county census data.

Race and ethnic diversity in Banner County are represented in 7.9% of the population. In 2000, Hispanics made up 3.3% of the minority population. There was a 2.5% increase in the number of Hispanics living in Banner County according to the 2020 Census data.