Wisconsin is the only state in the upper Midwest to increase population.

The estimates released by the Department of Administration show a 5.3 percent increase in Wisconsin's population since the 2000 U.S. Census. DOA's Linda Barth says that's more than any of our midwest neighbors.

"That's good news for Wisconsin; it means that we're doing what we need to do as far as economic develop, schools, quality of life issues, environmental issues." Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan had more people leave the state than move to the state.

Barth says the addition of more than 283-thousand new residents is good news for Wisconsin's economy and job market.

"In Wisconsin a lot of people have been talking about a brain drain, but what we're finding out is that people from Wisconsin live here, go to school here. They may go away for a little while but when it's time to raise their families they come back."

Other states' population growth usually centers on large metropolitan areas or one particular part of the state, but Barth says Wisconsin's growth has extended to communities of all sizes throughout the state.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:27 MP3)

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