MERIC NEWS LETTER

Springfield and Branson are Missouri’s Fastest-Growing Areas

Metro AreaSpringfield and Branson are the fastest growing metropolitan and micropolitan areas in Missouri, respectively, from 2000 to 2008, according to recently released data from the U. S. Census Bureau. Both the Springfield and Branson areas have increased in population by 15 percent or more since the 2000 Census.

The fastest-growing growing metro area between 2000 and 2008 was Palm Coast, Florida with an increase of 83.1 percent. Missouri's number one growing metro area was Springfield with a 15.7 percent increase and a 57,770 rise in population. Columbia followed with a 12.8 percent increase, adding 18,617 to its population.

Missouri Metropolitan Population Changes 2000 to 2008
Metropolitan Area 2000 2007 2008 % Chg 2000 to 2008 Chg 2000 to 2008 % Chg 2007 to 2008 Chg 2007 to 2008
Springfield, MO 368,374 419,607 426,144 15.7% 57,770 1.6% 6,537
Columbia, MO 145,666 161,916 164,283 12.8% 18,617 1.5% 2,367
Joplin, MO 157,322 171,043 172,933 9.9% 15,611 1.1% 1,890
Kansas City, MO-KS 1,836,038 1,981,480 2,002,047 9.0% 166,009 1.0% 20,567
Jefferson City, MO 140,052 145,170 146,363 4.5% 6,311 0.8% 1,193
St. Louis, MO-IL 2,698,687 2,805,465 2,816,710 4.4% 118,023 0.4% 11,245
St. Joseph, MO-KS 122,336 125,831 126,359 3.3% 4,023 0.4% 528

Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina and Austin Round Rock, Texas were the fastest-growing metro areas between 2007 and 2008, with a population rise of 4.3 percent and 3.8 percent respectively.

From 2000 to 2008 four metro areas in the nation added more than 1 million people to their areas. These included Dallas-Ft. Worth (1.14 million), Atlanta (1.13 million), Phoenix (1.03 million) and Houston (1.01 million).

Missouri's fastest growing micropolitan areas from 2000 to 2008 were Branson (14.9%) adding 10,213 to its population and Farmington (13.6%) with an increase of 7,573.

Between 2007 and 2008, the Branson micropolitan area also had the most rapid growth among Missouri micros at 1.8 percent, followed by Kirksville with a 1.2 percent increase. Nationally, Safford, Arizona and Andrews, Texas were the fastest growing micropolitan areas during this time, increasing by 4.1 and 4.0 percent respectively.

Missouri Micropolitan Population Changes 2000 to 2008
Micropolitan Area 2000 2007 2008 % Chg 2000 to 2008 Chg  2000 to 2008 % Chg 2007 to 2008 Chg 2007 to 2008
Branson, MO 68,361 77,168 78,574 14.9% 10,213 1.8% 1,406
Farmington, MO 55,641 62,762 63,214 13.6% 7,573 0.7% 452
Lebanon, Mo 32,513 35,346 35,524 9.3% 3,011 0.5% 178
Fort Leonard Wood, MO 41,165 44,300 44,546 8.2% 3,381 0.6% 246
Warrensburg, MO 48,258 51,898 52,016 7.8% 3,758 0.2% 118
Rolla, MO 39,825 42,443 42,205 6.0% 2,380 -0.6% -238
West Plains, MO 37,238 38,604 39,000 4.7% 1,762 1.0% 396
Moberly, MO 24,663 25,635 25,723 4.3% 1,060 0.3% 88
Sedalia, MO 39,403 40,748 41,006 4.1% 1,603 0.6% 258
Cape Girardeau-Jackson, MO-IL 90,312 93,006 93,385 3.4% 3,073 0.4% 379
Poplar Bluff, MO 40,867 41,230 41,383 1.3% 516 0.4% 153
Mexico, MO 25,853 25,829 26,049 0.8% 196 0.9% 220
Maryville, MO 21,912 22,059 22,054 0.6% 142 0.0% -5
Sikeston, MO 40,422 40,705 40,673 0.6% 251 -0.1% -32
Hannibal, MO 37,915 38,003 38,057 0.4% 142 0.1% 54
Kirksville, MO 29,147 28,704 29,053 -0.3% -94 1.2% 349
Quincy, IL-MO 78,771 76,807 76,848 -2.4% -1,923 0.1% 41
Kennett, MO 33,155 31,609 31,454 -5.1% -1,701 -0.5% -155
Marshall, MO 23,756 22,614 22,505 -5.3% -1,251 -0.5% -109

A metropolitan area is defined as an area containing at least one urbanized area of 50,000 people or more in population. Micropolitan areas are defined as areas of urban cluster of at least 10,000 but under 50,000 people. Both micropolitan and metropolitan areas consist of one or more county equivilents.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau

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