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Kansas City, Mo., population tops 500,000 in census

The population of Kansas City, Mo., has climbed to more than a half-million for the first time, according to newly released census numbers. Mayor Quinton Lucas said the latest Census numbers exceeded all estimates from City Hall.

“Of course there are different levels of growth in the different [districts] that we have,” he said. “But this is a sign for me of a growing, diversifying city with the highest number in population, in the history of Kansas City, Mo. And I think it shows that we have even more work to do.”

While Kansas City remains Missouri’s second-largest metro area (St. Louis is the largest), the entire region demonstrated growth over the last decade, especially suburbs to the north and south. Platte County led the way with nearly 20 percent growth, increasing its population to 106,718.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” said Ron Shieber, Platte County presiding commissioner. “Geographically, we’re in a great place. We’ve got great schools, a great business environment, great amenities. We believe we’re one of the most attractive places to live, at least in our state.”

Clay County was not too far behind with a 14 percent increase. North Kansas City Mayor Bryant DeLong attributed Clay’s countywide growth to recent infrastructure projects.

“Here in North Kansas City, we’ve built some apartments,” he said. “We didn’t quite get enough of them built in time to increase our population more. You redo the census, we’ll end up having another thousand-plus.”

Overland Park showed the largest gain of any of the metro’s cities, with a nearly 14 percent increase since 2010. Its population now stands at 197,238. Kansas City, Kan., showed a moderate increase with 7.4 percent change since the last census, raising its population to 156,000. The city of St. Louis recorded just 301,000 residents in the 2020 Census, about 18,000 fewer than it had in 2010. And many rural areas in Missouri saw declines. Overall, Missouri’s population grew at a rate of 2.8 percent, just enough to keep the state from losing any seats in the U.S. House of Representative.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice