Willmar population officially surpasses 21,000

The city of Willmar has officially surpassed 20,000 people. According to data released by the United States Census Bureau, Willmar’s population now sits at 21,015. The census data also show Kandiyohi County is growing more diverse, with a larger percentage of the population identifying as a race or ethnic group other than white.

Mark Wasson / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — The city of Willmar can now officially say its population is over 20,000 people.

On Thursday, the United States Census Bureau released population data from the 2020 Census and Willmar's population now sits at 21,015.

This is an additional 1,405 people over the 2010 population of 19,610, which is posted on Willmar signs at the city limits.

"We've been trying to break that 20,000 threshold for a number of censuses," said Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin.

Willmar's population increase accounts for the vast majority of the 1,493 additional people Kandiyohi County saw move in over the last decade. The county's total population, based on the 2020 census, is now 43,732, a 3.5% increase from 2010.


"It shows the growth Willmar expected came through," Calvin said.

Minnesota has a population of 5,706,494, a 7.6% increase over 2010.

The census data also dives into the racial and ethnic diversity of those living in the United States. Kandiyohi County is still a predominantly white county, with 76.2% of the population identifying as such. This is a significant drop though from the 2010 census, which reported 85.1% of the county's population as white.

Approximately 13.5% of the county's population, or 5,916 people, consider themselves Hispanic or Latino, up from 11.2% in 2010. Another 6% of the population, or 2,618 people, identify as Black or African American, up from 2.3% in 2010.

Calvin said the continued growth in the county's diversity is a good thing for Willmar and he hopes to see that continue.

"In Willmar, our diverse communities are our strength," as they are what keeps the city's workforce growing, Calvin said.

Calvin also thanked the city's Complete Count Committee , which worked for several months to get the word out about the importance of filling out the census. Census results are used for a variety of things, such as redistricting for legislative representation and for state and federal funding, so the more accurate the count, the better.

"They really helped get everybody counted," Calvin said of the committee.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

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