ST. CLOUD - The Tri-County area saw modest growth in the latest U.S. Census data.

From July 1st, 2011 through July 1st of 2012 Stearns County's population increased by 415 people, Sherburne County added 263 people, and Benton County increased by 20.

With 151,606 people, Stearns County moved-up from number 11 to now the 7th most populated county in the state, just ahead of Sherburne County which stays the same at number 12.  Benton County is at number 25.

Meanwhile, the St. Cloud metropolitan area grew by 435 people, bringing our total population in the metro area to 190,471.

By comparison, the Duluth area has nearly 280,000 people, and Rochester area has nearly 210,000.