Census: 12 percent of Missouri homes vacant

Thursday, February 24, 2011 | 8:08 p.m. CST; updated 8:29 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 24, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — U.S. Census Bureau figures show that more than 12 percent of Missouri's homes were vacant last year.

The 2010 census figures released Thursday do not provide a reason why housing units were unoccupied. But that may vary by region.

The counties with the highest home vacancies rates all have lakes that are popular vacation spots, suggesting that some of the empty houses may be second homes for people whose primary residence is elsewhere. Camden County, at the Lake of the Ozarks, led the state with a 54 percent home vacancy rate.

The city of St. Louis, which lost population since the last census in 2000, had a 19 percent home vacancy rate.

St. Charles County, which gained the greatest number of residents, had the lowest home vacancy rate at less than 5 percent.

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