Wisconsin's population growth rate has slowed again, with the state adding fewer than 12,000 residents in the most recent yearly estimate.
In a report released this week, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Wisconsin's population as 5,771,337 as of July 1, 2015, an increase of 11,905 over the 2014 estimate.
The yearly growth rate fell to 0.21 percent in 2015; it was 0.27 a year earlier and 0.58 percent in 2005.
During the 2010s, Wisconsin has averaged an annual growth rate of 0.3 percent over the official decennial census population figure, a notable decline from earlier decades. In the 2000s, the annual growth rate was 0.6 percent, and it was 0.96 percent in the 1990s.
In the yearly estimates, Wisconsin has gained just 84,351 residents since the 2010 Census.
A December 2013 report prepared for the Wisconsin Department of Administration by David Egan-Robertson of the UW-Madison Applied Population Laboratory predicted population growth of more than 315,000 between 2010 and 2020.
That report predicted Wisconsin's 2015 population to be 5,783,015, which turned out to be fairly close, but high by 11,678 according to the Census estimate.
It remains to be seen whether the rest of the decade matches other projections.
"The population projections in the near term reflect the probability that the state's economy will begin to improve during the current five-year period," Egan-Robertson wrote in the report, "increasing job growth and thus leading to net migration turning from negative to positive in 2014 and 2015."
Wisconsin has continued to rank in the bottom half of U.S. states for job growth rate, and net migration was still negative by 3,381 in 2014, according to Census population estimates. Data for 2015 are not yet available.
The declining growth rate from Census estimates, however, was contrary to the population estimates produced by the state's Demographic Services Center. Those state figures, finalized in October, showed Wisconsin's Jan. 1, 2015, population up by 0.35 percent over 2014, the highest percentage since 2008.