Missouri’s population has shifted over the years and the trend is expected to continue in the near future. Missouri keeps growing, up more than 77,000 people in the first two years of this century to a total population of 5.6-Million. A shift has seen Missourians move away from the core of the state’s two biggest cities – St. Louis and Kansas City. The population favors southern Missouri over northern Missouri. State Demographer Ryan Burson says, in general, people moved to the jobs but not always. The biggest percentage growth still belongs to Christian County, south of Springfield. Webster County, east of Springfield, also had strong growth. Prisons in Charleston and Licking led to strong growth in Mississippi and Texas Counties. Fort Leonard Wood spurred growth in Pulaski County. St. Louis area counties experiencing strong growth include St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren. Around Kansas City Cass, Platte and Clay grew.