|4/12/2017 1:53:00 PM|
Windom will never reach 5,000 people
The Windom city council needs a lesson in demographics with its 5,000 people by 2020 dream.
Windom stopped growing in 1980 when the population reached 4,666. The 2016 estimated population stood at 4,500.
The real growth in Windom took place in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Windom grew by 1,500 in those years - 50 people a year.
I remember those years well. Those were the days when Windom had two newspapers, two bakeries, five car dealerships, four implement dealerships, five grocery stores, three mens' clothing stores (where you could buy a suit). New businesses were started, we added 20 to 40 new housing units per year. Also, there were 2,000-plus students in the school district.
Since 2010, Windom has fallen backward. Virtually no new housing units have been built. It takes 10 to 15 units to show any growth.
If anyone thinks that Windom will grow by 500 people in the next three years, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I will sell you - cheap.
The labor supply in southwest Minnesota is small (most counties had larger populations 100 years ago than they do today). I cannot see why anyone would want to move to Windom for a $12 or $13 per hour job, when the average wage in Minnesota was $26.38 last September.
I hate to rain on your parade. Windom will never reach 5,000 people, but it will continue to be a nice small town of about 4,000 people.
- Bruce Olson