Columbia grew by an estimated 10,608 people since the 2010 U.S. Census was taken, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.
That nearly 10 percent growth moved Columbia ahead of Independence as Missouri's fourth largest city with an estimated 119,108 residents as of last July 1.
In the same five-year period, the Census Bureau estimated, Jefferson City added 90 residents, from 43,079 on April 1, 2010, to 43,169 — a .44 percent increase.
Taos, in eastern Cole County, had the largest estimated growth among the 54 communities in the region measured by the Census Bureau for the period, with a 29.16 percent growth rate, by adding 256 people to reach an estimated population last summer of 1,134.
Lake Ozark was second, with a 12.17 percent growth, or 193 additional residents.
And Holts Summit showed the third fastest growth rate in the region, at 10.87 percent, adding 353 people to reach an estimated July 1, 2015, population of 3.600.
Other local communities showing growth in the census included:
Fulton, up 149 people to an estimated 12,929 (1.16 percent)
Eldon, up 65 people to 4,632 (1.42 percent).
California, up 118 residents to 4,396 (2.76 percent).
And Camdenton, up 162 people to 3,880 (4.36 percent).
Only Kansas City — Missouri's largest city — gained more residents than Columbia over the period, adding about 15,600 to a population that grew to roughly 475,000.
St. Louis City continues losing residents. The Census Bureau estimates the city lost 3,600 people since 2010, putting its population around 316,000.
More Missouri towns have lost residents over the last five years than have gained. Towns that lost residents saw an average decrease of about 30 people, while places that gained experienced an average increase of 300.
The new Census Bureau numbers show Mid-Missouri's biggest percentage loss was in Bland, with 17 fewer residents, for 3.15 percent population loss. Second on that list was Hermann, down 55 residents, for 2.26 percent drop.
And Linn lost an estimated 30 residents, for a 2.06 percent population reduction.
Many Mid-Missouri communities listed in the report showed minor fluctuations, and were close to the same populations they had in the official, 2010 national census.
The Associated Press contributed some information used in this story.