The northwest Kansas exodus continues unabated, according to new county estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The numbers are based on estimates as of July 1, 2014, and focuses on fast-growing counties and the nationís biggest metropolitan counties.

None of the fast-growing counties in the nation were located in Kansas.

In fact, the situation is the reverse, with most northwest Kansas counties contracting, especially so in the counting period between 2013 and 2014.

Twelve of the 20 counties that make up northwest Kansas had declines ó to varying degrees ó in the year since the last estimate was released.

But since the last full-blown count was made in 2010, some counties have registered significant declines.

Rush and Trego counties, for example, each had declines of about 3.3 percent since 2010. Smith and Osborne counties, however, werenít too far behind.

At the other side of the spectrum, six counties recorded population increases in the period between 2010 and 2014.

Rawlins County had the highest increase, registering an increase of approximately 2.6 percent. That represents an increase of 65 people.

Nick Schwien is managing editor at The Hays Daily News.