Wisconsin Community Looks to Reverse Aging Population Trend

August 13, 2009 by Emsi Burning Glass

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Wausau, Wisconsin, is in the midst of what local leaders hope is a shift from watching young people leave the community to attracting them with new cultural amenities. One part of Wausau’s economic development plan has been analyzing demographic figures from EMSI to determine the projected growth or decline of key age cohorts for the region.

The number of people in Teske’s age group — 25 to 29 years old — is expected to decrease by about 3 percent in Marathon County by 2019, according to Economic Modeling Specialists, a group that compiled the data for McDEVCO, the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce’s economic development agency.

That post-college group is a major target for officials because it’s full of people starting their lives and careers who can bring innovation and enthusiasm to the area. Another key demographic, young parents such as Mortensen ages 30 to 39, is expected to increase about 10 percent by 2019. But that growth is dwarfed by the 50 percent increase expected among people 65 to 74.

“We’re upside down,” said Dave Eckmann, economic development director for the Chamber and McDEVCO.

Read the full story here from the Wausau Daily Herald.