Mid-Missouri shows steady growth

Cole County grew 6.43 percent, but dropped to 15th largest county

Let the number-crunching begin.

All but one of 10 Mid-Missouri counties grew during the past decade, U.S. Census Bureau data sent to state officials this week shows.

The rate of growth varied widely, from Boone County’s 20.07 percent and Camden County’s 18.76 percent, down to Maries County’s 3.07 percent growth — and Gasconade County’s .78 percent loss.

Cole County added almost 4,600 people between 2000 and 2010 — a 6.43 percent increase — and still slipped from the state’s 14th largest county in 2000 to 15th in 2010, among the 114 counties and city of St. Louis.

Jefferson City accounted for most of the Cole County growth, with an additional 3,443 people (8.7 percent) to a 2010 population of 43,079 — 15th largest in the state, the same as in 2000.

Columbia experienced a 28.4 percent growth, to 108,500 people — maintaining its fifth-place position among all Missouri cities.

Columbia’s population climbed by almost 24,000 — most of Boone County’s 27,000 more residents — helping the county maintain its eighth-place ranking.

Camden County’s more than 6,900-person growth raised it to 25th place in the state, from 29th a decade ago.

State Demographer Matt Hesser said Thursday he had “not seen any surprises” in his first look at the numbers. However, he said, “I have not yet had time to do any real analysis of the data, (so) it is too early to know.”

The numbers’ most immediate use will be helping lawmakers redraw Missouri’s congressional district lines.

Because Missouri’s population growth rate was less than the nation as a whole, the state will drop from nine to eight House districts in the Congress that begins meeting in January 2013.

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