Geary County saw the third-largest one-year drop in population last year of any county in the nation, according to a Thursday morning report from the Topeka Capital-Journal.
It estimated 2,172 more people moved out of the county than moved in, according to the U.S. Census Bureau .
The Census Bureau, which takes a count of the U.S. population every 10 years, also makes annual estimates of the populations of states, counties and cities.
Geary County’s population was estimated to have decreased to 33,855 from 35,208 — a drop of 1,353 between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017.
The only counties in the nation with larger population decreases percentage-wise were Campbell County, Wyoming and Martin County, Kentucky.
Five years ago, Geary County had been among the nation’s five fastest-growing counties. It saw a one-year increase of over 2,500 between 2011 and 2012 when many Fort Riley soldiers returned from deployment, however, Census Bureau estimates indicate the county’s population has decreased in four of the past five years.