Since the 2010 U.S. Census, the population in Steele County has increased by a fraction of a percentage point and bucks the trend for most non-metro counties. That's according to a report in the Pioneer Press, which indicates that Rice and Dodge Counties are up while Waseca County has a net loss in population. The state has grown overall, mostly due to the Twin Cities counties. The report states Steele County is at 36,887, an increase of 0.85 % since the official census in 2010.

Rice County has increased 2.85 % to a total of 65,968 people. The Dodge County increase of 3.36 % brings the population there to 20,762. Olmstead County has grown to 154,930 people, a burst of 7.41 %.

Among the counties that lost population is Waseca, which is down 1.82 % to 18,787 and Freeborn County, which is down 2.3 % to 30,535. More than half of the state's 87 counties have lower numbers than 2010. Faribault County, along the southern border, was among the biggest losers at more than five percent.

The report states that the Twin Cities fueled the state's gain of 275,000 people. Scott and Carver County are each up more than 12 %. All of the metro counties saw an uptick. Hennepin and Ramsey Counties had the biggest increases in total gain. The state's population now stands at 5,576,606.