Demographics Indicators

Dependency Ratio



  • The dependency ratio has been falling in all Wisconsin jurisdictions, because as populations age, the number of dependents 65+ grows relative to the working-age population.
  • Polk and Burnett Counties have particularly low ratios, with Burnett approaching the point at which for every person in their prime working years (20 – 64 years old), there is one who is under 20 (and likely still in school) or 65 and older (and likely retired).
  • Pierce and St. Croix counties continue to have slightly stronger dependency ratios than the state, however, their ratios are falling closer to the average for Wisconsin.


  • The dependency ratio in Minnesota and Washington County have been declining slowly over time.
  • Chisago County’s dependency ratio has had a slower decline than the rest of the state; the county now has a higher ratio (1.46) compared to Washington County and the Minnesota average, even though its dependency ratio was lower than both in the first year of this dataset (2009).


  • For Chisago, Pierce and St. Croix counties, there were over 40% more workers than dependents in 2022.
  • For Polk County there were almost 30% more workers than dependents in 2022, but only about 5% more in Burnett County

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