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TODAY'S QUESTION: Are you surprised by the Missouri census data?

Friday, February 25, 2011 | 11:26 a.m. CST; updated 7:41 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 26, 2011

Recently released U.S. Census data revealed an overall growth in Missouri's population, up 7 percent to nearly 6 million people. This increase exceeds the average growth — about 3.9 percent — of Midwest states.

But Missouri will lose a seat in the House of Representatives, as its population did not grow as much as that of states in other regions. The state will have eight representatives in future legislative sessions.

Missouri is one of 10 states, including neighbors Iowa and Illinois, that will lose a Congressional seat.

Columbia is listed as the fifth-largest city in Missouri. Its population is now 108,500, a 24.8 percent increase over 2000 census data results. Five other towns in Boone County also saw a population increase.

Kansas City expanded its population margin over the city of St. Louis since 2000 by growing to 460,000 residents. The St. Louis metropolitan area remains significantly larger than Kansas City.

The city of St. Louis saw a population decline of 8 percent, down to 319,294. This came as a surprise to Mayor Francis Slay, who predicted an increase after preliminary 2009 statistics revealed population growth in the city.

"It is absolutely bad news," Slay said, according to a previous article. "We thought after more than 50 years of population decline that the city had finally changed direction. Obviously, that's not the case."

Additionally, St. Louis County witnessed a decrease in population for the first time. The county's population fell by 1.7 percent to 998,954.

Counties surrounding the St. Louis area saw significant increases. St. Charles County, for example, saw a 27 percent population growth.

Like the outer St. Louis suburbs, southwest Missouri also saw a spike in population growth. Greene County, which includes Springfield, grew 14 percent. And neighboring Christian County grew 43 percent, adding 23,000 residents.

Are you surprised by any aspect of the latest 2010 U.S. Census data?


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Comments

Ellis Smith February 25, 2011 | 12:39 p.m.

Most of the counties in far northern Missouri have been losing population for years. It's difficult to see how the trend can be reversed. The population increase in Pulaski County (Fort Leonard Wood) is also unsurprising, and highlights the major impact DOD spending has on both Pulaski and Phelps Counties.

Both St. Louis and Kansas City are considered high crime cities nationally. That can't be helpful to growth.

(Report Comment)
Tommy Piatchek Jr. February 25, 2011 | 9:09 p.m.

Ellis,

Thanks for your comment. You added very useful information that could be taken into consideration when analyzing the question.

It's interesting you raise the high crime rate. Although this might be acceptable to consider in St. Louis' decline, Kansas City's population did rise since the 2000 census.

Tommy Piatchek, Jr.

(Report Comment)

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