Census data shows a divide between growing downtown and declining low-income neighborhoods in Milwaukee

When the US Census Bureau released detailed demographics in August, the picture wasn’t good for Milwaukee. Data showed the city had lost more than 17,600 residents since 2010, a drop of nearly 3%. Things…


When the United States Census Bureau released detailed population data in August, the picture was not good for Milwaukee. Data showed the city had lost more than 17,600 residents since 2010, a drop of nearly 3%. Things weren’t much better at the county level where the population decline was over 8,200 or nearly 1%. While statewide population growth has not been robust, it has increased by over 3.6%. The American population grew by almost 7.4%. While the Census Bureau has released the data needed by states for the redistribution, a more user-friendly version of the data won’t be available until later this month. BizTimes used census data processed by Angeliki Kastanis of The Associated Press to take a closer look at population changes in Milwaukee County and around the state. A closer look shows a more nuanced picture that reflects many of the trends and challenges the city and county have faced over the past decade. Specifically, the downtown area and some of its surrounding neighborhoods are among the fastest growing places in the state, while the low-income neighborhoods of Milwaukee, particularly the north and northwest, have been among those hardest hit by the loss of population. The four fastest growing census tracts in the state were all located in the city of Madison, with two of them located on the west side of that city, one in the far east and one just south of State Street between the UW-Madison campus and Place du Capitole. Dane County also has 15 of the 25 fastest growing areas in the state, 26 of the top 50 and 36 of the top 100. Wisconsin’s fifth census tract is located at Grand Chute, just northwest of Appleton. But even the state’s fastest growing census tract barely exceeds the country’s 1,000 fastest growing regions. The sixth fastest growing census tract in Wisconsin centers around Milwaukee’s third neighborhood, while also including parts of downtown and Walker’s Point. The area, generally delimited by 6e Street, Wisconsin Avenue, Florida Street, the Milwaukee River, and I-794, saw its population increase by almost 70% to 3,976 residents. It is a neighborhood that has seen many residential developments. Another area of ​​the greater downtown area, bounded by Avenue Juneau, the river and Rue Van Buren to the start of Rue Brady, also experienced strong growth of nearly 61% to 2,941. Census is home to a number of new residential developments along the Milwaukee River, such as the North End, which began in the 2000s but has continued to expand over the past decade. It was the 12e fastest growing census tract in the state. Milwaukee County had two of Wisconsin’s 25 fastest growing census tracts, six of the top 50 and 11 of the top 100. Downtown Milwaukee and surrounding areas such as Third Ward, Walker’s Point and the Lower East Side added more than 7,600 residents, an increase of nearly 17% in 15 census tracts. The region added more than 6,080 housing units and had a population of 52,855. At the same time, most of Milwaukee’s population losses were concentrated on the north and northwest sides of the city. The area bounded by Capitol Drive, North 35th Street, Brown Street and just east of I-43 was home to 10 of the hardest hit census tracts, all with a population loss of over 20%. In total, the area, which extends just beyond the boundaries of the 53206 postal code, has lost more than 6,900 residents across 19 sectors. The region lost more than 1,740 homes and had a population of 32,891. Ten years ago, the populations of the northern district and the large city center were separated by approximately 5,500 inhabitants. Fast forward a decade and the downtown area is now nearly 20,000 more people than the north side area. The divergent demographic trends only reinforce the impression that the revival of downtown Milwaukee did not extend to the popular areas of the city. Three other areas on the north and northwest sides were among the hardest hit in the state by the loss of population. The area between Silver Spring Drive and Villard Avenue and 76th and 64th Streets lost nearly 900 residents, a drop of more than 28%. This was the largest percentage decline in the state’s population. The section between 35th and 41st Locust Street to Wright Street also lost more than 580 residents, a drop of nearly 20%. There was also a drop of nearly 20% for a city of Milwaukee tract northeast of Keefe Avenue and Port Washington Road to the borders with Glendale, Shorewood and Bayside. This area lost nearly 670 inhabitants. On the south side of Milwaukee, only one region experienced a population loss of more than 20%. This section is located between Lapham Boulevard and Becher Street, from 6th Street South East to Kinnickinnic Avenue. Besides the greater downtown area, the other particularly strong growth area in Milwaukee County is Wauwatosa, which has seen its population increase 4.3% overall and add almost 2,000 residents. Three census tracts in particular were responsible for the growth of Wauwatosa. The spread that covers the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, the former county grounds and the neighborhoods west of Mayfair Road between North Avenue and Watertown Plank Road has increased by nearly 36% and added more than 1,200 residents. The area surrounding the Mayfair Collection, a tract that stretches from the county line about 100 to the northe Street between Capitol Drive and Burleigh Street, added nearly 470 residents and grew over 26%. Not only did Mayfair Collection redevelop the site of a Roundy’s distribution center into retail stores, offices and restaurants, but hundreds of apartments were also part of the project. Covering the village of Tosa plus the area between Milwaukee Avenue and Honey Creek Parkway east to 60e Street, the third growth area in Wauwatosa, added more than 670 residents and grew 14%. Wauwatosa has seen a loss of residents at its northern end in a census tract that covers the area between Hampton and Capitol from 124th Street East to 92nd Street. This area lost 424 inhabitants and its population fell by more than 9%. Three areas at the southern end of the city also lost population, particularly in the far southeast corner, which fell more than 3% losing around 70 residents.