Results for the 2020 Census have been released, and we find many of the results interesting.

We’d like to start by dispelling the myth that Madison is a community of older people. It isn’t. Not even close.

Let’s back it up with a few facts:

1) If we look at our population in groups of five years, we discover the three biggest groups are ages 10-14, 15-19 and 20-24. The under-five-year-old category (which only includes four years) is the sixth largest group.

2) Nearly 40% of our city’s population is 24 years old or younger.

3) Less than 20% of Madison is 65 or older.

4) The median age of someone living in Madison is 35 years old. That’s younger than the United States as a whole, which is 38.

Let’s break another myth that all the students at Dakota State University are counted as residents. Not true. Many DSU students (especially during the 2020 census count during the coronavirus pandemic) live elsewhere and take classes online, or commute to Madison, or were counted in their hometowns. The Census data isn’t broken down as far as students, but we’d guess that less than 5% of Madison’s population is DSU students.

Regardless of the count, however, students are living, breathing parts of our community, and we’re glad for all the ways they contribute, including working at jobs, providing entertainment through athletics, theater and music, and contributing to the local economy.

Most observers believe healthy communities have a blend of all ages, with each being active in their own ways. Madison’s Census demographics indicate just that, and we believe the mix contributes to our vibrant community.

— Jon M. Hunter