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See How They've Grown

Last week this blog analyzed recently released Census Bureau data for growth patterns in this area.  Metropolitan areas in the rest of Missouri will be examined this week.  While many people are rather vague about what constitutes a metropolitan area, the federal Office of Management and Budget establishes uniformity by defining whether a city is a metro, as well as specifying that metro's constituent counties.  Metros aren't restricted by state boundaries; of Missouri's eight metropolitan areas, four have counties in another state.  Up to this point, Missouri's metros have constituted 73% of the state's population, 79% of the state's jobs, and 84% of the state's gross domestic product.

State metro growth has been a mixed bag.  On the one hand, Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers is both an Arkansas (three counties) and Missouri (McDonald County) metro; 2000- 2008 growth there has been a robust 27.9%, with virtually all of the growth taking place in the Arkansas counties.  The four-county Jefferson City metro, on the other hand, has seen a miniscule 4.5% growth.  The two-county Columbia metro has grown 12.8% between 2000 and 2008.  Our Joplin neighbors' two-county metro has grown 9.9%.  Often overlooked, St. Joseph is both a Kansas (one county)  and Missouri (three counties) metro with 3.3% growth, held back by the 6.4% negative growth of Doniphan, the Kansas county.

Now for the big guys.  The St. Louis metro is made up of eight Illinois counties and eight Missouri counties; 2000-2008 growth was 4.4%.  The Kansas City metro has six Kansas counties and nine Missouri counties, ranging in size from Linn (KS; under 10,000) to Jackson (MO; more than 668,000); growth in this metro has been 9.0%.

Viewed in this context, the Springfield metro's 15.7% growth is reasonably impressive.


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