The Wisconsin Department of Administration has released its Jan. 1, 2013 population estimates for towns, villages, cities and counties.

The figures were good news for New Richmond, which saw a nice bump of 138 residents over the past 12 months.

The community's new official population stands at 8,533 and is the first time New Richmond has passed the 8,500 plateau. New Richmond hit the 8,000 mark in the fall of 2009, and the 7,000 mark in 2004.

"It was a big jump, compared to some years," City Administrator Mike Darrow said of this year's increase. "It's a sign that the economy is improving a little bit, and it's an indication that we have a vibrant community that is on the uptick."

The city's growth was fairly stagnant over the past six years, Darrow noted, as the slumping economy and higher gas prices reduced the number of people considering western Wisconsin for their new home.

As the new Stillwater bridge is completed over the next few years, Darrow said it will be interesting to see what impact it has on the community.

"It will be interesting to see what happens at the end of this decade," he said, noting that indications are that another growth spurt could result.

According to the new estimates, St. Croix County grew from 84,856 to 85,249 over the past year, or an additional 393 people.

The Town of Richmond showed an increase of 37 residents, to a total of 3,339. The Town of Somerset lost five people, to a total of 4,077 residents.

The estimates indicate that the Town of Star Prairie grew by three people, to 3,518. The Village of Star Prairie, however, declined by three people, to 556.

Somerset declined by five residents, to a total of 2,642, while the Town of Warren went from 1,600 to 1,603, or an increase of 3.

Both the villages of Hammond (1,914) and Roberts (1,644) lost 10 residents since the 2012 estimates.

The towns of Stanton (-5), Erin Prairie (-1) and Emerald (-3) all saw small declines.

New Richmond population estimates

1997 5,874

1998 5,985

1999 No data

2000 6,310

2001 6,399

2002 6,654

2003 6,952

2004 7,244

2005 7,469

2006 No data

2007 7,899

2008 7,981

2009 8,003

2010 8,375

2011 8,389

2012 8,395

2013 8,533