Morphogens can control organ development by regulating patterning as well as growth. Here we use the model system of the Drosophila wing imaginal disc to address how the patterning signal Decapentaplegic (Dpp) regulates cell proliferation. Contrary to previous models, which implicated the slope of the Dpp gradient as an essential driver of cell proliferation, we find that the juxtaposition of cells with differential pathway activity is not required for proliferation. Additionally, our results demonstrate that, as is the case for patterning, Dpp controls wing growth entirely via repression of the target gene brinker (brk). The Dpp-Brk system converts an inherently uneven growth program, with excessive cell proliferation in lateral regions and low proliferation in medial regions, into a spatially homogeneous profile of cell divisions throughout the disc.