The census bureau says our two biggest cities are going in different directions. Kansas City remains Missour’s biggest city with almost 460,000 people, about 4 percent more than it had ten years ago. Kansas City officials had been hoping for more. So had St.Louis officials, who had been hoping their city’s decades-long slide was reversing. But the census numbers show the slide continues with St. Louis down to less than 320,000 people, an 8 percent decline.
Springfield, Independence, and Columbia round out the top five. The top five are the only cities of more than 100,000 in Missouri. Four of Missouri’s top 20 cities lost people in the last decade — St. Louis, University City, Ballwin, and Raytown.
The only county in Missouri with more than 1 million people has lost that distinction. Census figures show St. Louis county lost 17,361 people in the last decade, dropping its population to 998,954. It appears the collar counties around St.Louis City and County picked up those numbers. St. Charles County has grown by 27 percent; Lincoln County has grown by 35 percent. Jefferson County’s population gained 10 percentage points. Still, St. Louis County remains Missouri’s most populous county by far — about 325,000 more people than Jackson County has.
Our second largest city has not been this small for 140 years. St. Louis’ numbers — below 320,000 — have not been this low since the 1870 census.
Want to let your legislators know where you’d like to be when the new Congressional districts are drawn? House and Senate redistricting committees have scheduled several hearings between now and March 11 to hear your thoughts. Here’s the schedule:
Today — Springfield
March 1 — Blue Springs
March 2 — Mexico
March 3 — Poplar Bluff
March 4 — Clayton
March 7 — Chillicothe
March 8 — Jefferson City
March 11 — Kansas City
Additional hearings might be scheduled. The committees have to get together on a new map and get it approved by the legislature before adjournment on May 14.