By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Despite a slight decline in population over the previous year, Imperial’s population continues to remain above the 2010 census level.
It follows the trend shown in March when the U.S. Census Bureau released 2014 county population estimates. Those estimates showed Chase County bucked the trend of population decline in rural Nebraska Counties.
The 2014 estimate for Imperial showed a population of 2,073 people. While that was down by five people from the 2013 Census estimate, it was still above the 2010 census count of 2,071.
Wauneta showed a 2014 population of 577, which was down one from 2013 estimates but remained equal to the 2010 Census count.
Lamar remained at 23 residents, the same as last year and the same as the 2010 estimate.
Census figures do not break down population in Champion or Enders. Instead, it is combined with the rural count.
The balance of Chase County’s population comes to 1,305, which is seven higher than 2013 and 10 higher than the 2010 Census count of 1,295.
Total population of Chase County stands at 3,978, which is 12 higher than the 2010 Census count.
Neighboring populations fall
A comparison of community population from 2010 to 2014 in neighboring counties doesn’t paint nearly as positive of a picture.
For instance, in Benkelman in Dundy County, population has dropped 6 percent since the 2010 Census, from 953 to 888. Four percent of that decline occurred between 2013 and 2014.
In Grant, Perkins County’s largest community, population has declined 3.95 percent since the 2010 Census, from 1,165 to 1,119.
Venango, with 164 residents, was the only Perkins County town not to show a decline. Madrid was off less than 1 percent at 230 while Elsie was down 1.89 percent to 104.
Hayes Center in Hayes County has declined 4.61 percent since 2010, from 214 to 207.
Hitchcock County, Culbertson, Stratton and Trenton all showed declines while Palisade held steady at 334 residents.
Population in larger regional cities also showed declines.
McCook fell 1.13 percent to 7,611; Ogallala fell 3.02 percent to 4,594; and North Platte fell 1.64 percent 24,327.