Hobart population expected to reach 10,000 in 2020
By Kevin Boneske
HOBART – The village’s population continues to grow and is expected to reach 10,000 for the 2020 Census, Village Administrator Aaron Kramer reported to the Hobart village board Tuesday, Sept. 3.
Based on figures from the state Department of Administration, Kramer said Hobart’s estimated population as of Jan. 1 was 9,599, an increase of 338 (3.6 percent) from 2018 and 821 (5.2 percent) more over the past two years.
“Of those 9,599 residents, almost 7,100 are of voting age, which underscores the fact that two polling places is not a wish, it’s almost a need,” he said.
Kramer’s comments made reference to the congestion of people waiting to vote last November at St. Joseph Church, the village’s only polling place, with more than 4,200 Hobart residents having cast ballots.
He also alluded to the possibility there could a large voter turnout for the elections in 2020.
“Even if 80 percent of these people (who are eligible voters in Hobart) turn out, that’s 5,600 voters,” Kramer said. “We may get (that many voters) next year for the presidential election and even the Democratic primary, depending on how many people are still in the running.”
Kramer said the village has experienced a population growth of 55 percent since the last census in 2010, when there were 6,182 residents, which translates into 3,417 new residents.
Compared to the census conducted in 2000 and 1990, Kramer said the village’s population has grown by 89 and 130 percent, respectively, when Hobart had 5,090 and 4,176 residents.
The last time the state underwent a multi-decade population outlook in 2013, Kramer said Hobart was projected to have 8,500 people in 2020.
“Obviously, we’ve exceeded that number,” he said. “It’s reasonable to expect at this time next year we’ll be at the 10,000 mark, or very close, and (the state) said we wouldn’t hit that until 2026.”
Despite the “unbelievable growth” in the population over the past 30 years, Village President Rich Heidel said Hobart has “succeeded in maintaining the village’s rural and agricultural flavor and atmosphere.”
“It’s still the prevalent aura that exists within the village, despite this growth, so I think it’s been very well managed and planned,” Heidel said.
Kramer added the majority of property in Hobart is rural and agricultural as the population approaches 10,000.
“Most of the population – I think you know that by driving around the village – is concentrated in two central locations in the south and the north…,” he said.
For the 2018 calendar year, Kramer said 248 housing units were added in Hobart.