Missouri’s population has surged gradually over the past few years. According to MacroTrends, this Midwestern state was home to 6,177,957 people in 2022, a 0.13% increase from the 6,169,823 residents in 2021; this denotes a 0.26% growth from 2020.
Furthermore, data from the U.S. Census Bureau backed this trend by divulging The Show Me State’s population grew by 0.2% between 2019 and 2020, welcoming more than 14,000 new residents. While the state’s population has been growing at roughly half the national growth rate, currently at 0.4%, some of its neighbors, like Tennessee, have reported a much higher growth rate.
But as with many other states nationwide, Missouri’s population growth is uneven, meaning some of its 114 counties receive more people than others. So, which are this state’s seven fastest-growing regions? Let’s find out!
1. Platte County
Topping our list of Missouri’s rapidly-growing counties is the 421 square mile Platte County, which has seen a 25.32% population growth rate since 2010. The United States Census Bureau revealed it had 106,532 residents in 2020, but the agency estimated that number had hit 110,534 by July 2022.
Platte County takes pride in its positive work development that entices people and thriving companies to relocate here. Furthermore, it presents numerous fantastic choices for homes and public schools, making it a good place to live.
Something else that could have fueled Platte County’s notable population growth is its proximity to the Kansas City International Airport, which is only 10 minutes away. Residents enjoy reduced travel time to domestic and international destinations, making living here more convenient. This region’s other selling points are its many recreational parks, elegant restaurants, and coffee shops.
2. Christian County
Nestled in Missouri’s southwestern edge, Christian County is the state’s second fastest-growing county. According to World Population Review, it has recorded a 19.18% population growth rate since the 2010 census and is now home to 92,268 people; a 1.25% increase from 2022’s estimated population of 91,126.
Missourians are moving to Christian County because of its business and family-friendly environment. Additionally, most households in this region use solar energy, translating into more affordable power bills and a lower carbon footprint. Plus, it has many attractions welcoming locals and tourists, making boredom the least of its residents’ concerns.
3. Clay County
Known for its wealth of tourist attractions, Clay County is another fast-growing county in Missouri. Its 2023 population is an estimated 262,755, an 18.39% increase from 2010. This county recorded its largest annual growth between 2020 and 2022 (2.5%).
Clay County’s large labor market is undoubtedly the main factor contributing to its population increase. According to experts, 66,227 people come to this region daily for work alone. Many of these individuals are in the manufacturing industry, but the health and education sectors are also booming.
4. Lincoln County
Lincoln County has seen a 17.33% population growth rate since the 2010 census. It’s now home to 61,677 people, 701 of whom moved to the county between 2022 and 2023; this is not a shocker given the region’s flourishing home construction industry.
Additionally, Lincoln County’s friendly business regulatory environment appeals to many entrepreneurs. Since the county is about 30 minutes from Interstates 64 and 70, most people deem it a great place to move to, residentially and commercially. Other reasons that could have sparked its population increase are the robust education system and the solid job market.
5. Boone County
Recognized as Missouri’s eighth most populous county, Boone County has an approximate population of 189,901 as of 2023, a 16.76% increase from 2010. The 2020 census showed 183,610 people lived in the region that year, meaning it has welcomed about 6,291 new residents.
Economic and ethnic diversity is one of Boone County’s main allure. The public schools here are top-rated, and you’ll find a wide range of quality public amenities, including medical facilities and libraries.
6. St. Charles County
Located in Missouri’s eastern region, St. Charles County is also in the pool of the state’s quickly growing counties. Statistics from the World Population Review show it recorded a 16.15% population growth rate between 2010 and 2023. As of the latter, it has 418,696 residents, a 13,434 increase since the 2020 census. Why are so many people moving to this part of the state? Well, here are the main suspects:
- Availability of job opportunities
- A quality education system
- Lots of fun activities
- An impressive culinary scene
- Great infrastructure
7. Warren County
Warren County had 32,513 residents in 2010. By 2020, 3,000 people had moved to the region, as the most recent census disclosed. The county now accommodates 36,438 people, a 0.84% and 12.07% increase from 2022 and 2010’s population.
Warrenton is one of the main contributors to Warren’s population growth. This city hosts over 7,000 people and boasts many amenities to keep them happy and comfortable, including parks, trails, fishing spots, golf courses, and a public library.
8 Things to Consider When Moving to Another County
Relocation is the primary reason some counties in Missouri record rapidly growing populations while others don’t. Indeed, moving to another region is a personal decision fueled by your unique needs or motivations, which may include, but aren’t limited to:
- You have a new job or promotion.
- You crave a change of scenery.
- You seek better schools for your kids.
- You’re moving in with a loved one or spouse.
- You want to live closer to friends or family.
- You’re looking for more affordable housing.
- You seek a county with a lower crime rate.
Regardless of your reasons, changing your residence is a big decision that impacts the rest of your life. We recommend developing a comprehensive plan to guarantee hassle-free relocation and ensure you settle into your new neighborhood quickly. But before you move, think through these factors:
1. Cost of Living
Affordability is the first aspect to mull over before relocating to a new county. You’ll want to ensure the cost of living there is favorable so you won’t forgo some of your essential needs to pay for others. Some regions are more expensive than others, meaning the price tags on items like food and utilities read higher. Unless you’re financially secure enough to acquire these necessities, looking for an alternative is best.
Also, take your time to explore the housing market in your dream county. Regions like St. Charles County, Christian County, Platte County, and Cole County have a reputation for offering a broad range of budget-friendly homes, including condos, townhouses, bungalows, and farmhouses.
Still, you must consider the unique features of each home before making your purchase. Prioritize aspects like size, cost, neighborhoods, and security. The property’s visual appeal is also worth factoring in lest you want to stand out (for the wrong reason).
2. Crime Rate
No county in Missouri is immune from insecurity. But some boast higher crime levels than others, and the last thing you need is to move to a region where you and your loved ones are unsafe.
As of this writing, these are some of The Show-Me State’s safest counties:
- Texas County
- Howell County
- St. Charles County
- Jefferson County
- Lincoln County
- Franklin County
- St. Clair County
But remember, choosing to move to any of these counties doesn’t necessarily guarantee your security because you’ll still be in a new territory. Therefore, refrain from walking at night once you relocate until you know your neighborhood well. Make sure to install a reliable security system in your new home and enhance the lighting on the exterior. Befriending your neighbors also goes a long way in making you and your family feel safe.
3. Local Amenities
Many Missourians move to enjoy a better quality of life, which access to premium amenities promises. Imagine living in a neighborhood without health facilities; you’ll have to drive for hours for medical attention when you or a loved one falls ill. What if your area also has poor roads or an unreliable public transit system? Residing there can be a nightmare, so we suggest ensuring the county you’re moving to has the following.
- World-class hospitals and schools
- Many green spaces and recreational facilities
- Premier entertainment options
- A dependable public transit system
- Diverse shopping areas
- Excellent infrastructure, including highways, roads, and bridges
Knowing a region’s amenities can be tricky if you’ve never been there. Nonetheless, that doesn’t make it impossible. Consider touring the county you’re eyeing to know what awaits you. An online search also makes you aware of the quality of services from institutions like schools and hospitals. If you have friends and family there, they’ll even be more helpful in offering specific information about the facilities.
Weather is another critical aspect to help you determine whether moving to a particular county in Missouri is a great idea. If you’re a sun seeker, options like Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis, and Springfield suit you since they experience more days of sunshine. The state’s northwestern part is perfect for those who prefer cooler climates.
We recommend digging into a county’s weather history before moving to avoid areas more susceptible to calamities like ice storms, floods, and tornadoes. It would be devastating to uproot your entire family and invest in a valuable real estate property elsewhere, only to be wiped out by a hurricane.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t survive in disaster-prone counties; you can. But you must have an emergency fund to acquire the necessary resources to shield yourself against these hazards or recover from the losses they can cause.
5. Job Prospects
It’s not unusual for Missourians to resign from their current jobs to move to other counties to start afresh. In most cases, this happens when relocating for personal reasons like marriage and to live near family. Exploring your job prospects before the move is always wise unless you’re ready to kiss your career goodbye.
Research the companies you can apply to in your new county, and understand the labor market, depending on your field. Also, contact potential employers to find out if they’re hiring, lest you want to spend months job hunting while your savings run out.
However, job opportunities don’t have to be an issue if you work remotely. But confirm your new neighborhood has a favorable environment that allows you to communicate with your employers, workers, or colleagues. These must-have features include a good internet connection (high-speed Wi-Fi) and minimal noise pollution.
This aspect is only worth considering if you’re moving to a county in Missouri from another state. The thing is, a region’s language is an integral part of its culture. Mastering it helps you communicate with your new friends and neighbors and fit in eventually. So, most Missourians speak English, although options like Chinese, Spanish, and German are used in some households.
If you’re not well versed in English, start brushing up your skills a few months before the relocation. Although it might not be a breeze, you can still ace it if you devote enough time to learning it. Consider hiring a tutor, online or offline, to help you achieve this goal faster. Practice is also an excellent way to perfect your eloquence.
Did you know that Missouri counties have different tax rates? If a lower cost of living is your main motivation to relocate, research these charges as they determine how much of your earnings belong to the government, not to mention the cost of necessities like food and housing. The higher they are, the more expensive the basic needs will be, so brace yourself!
8. Moving Expenses
Ultimately, finances are the most important part of the relocation process. A typical moving package comprises the cost of packing and transporting your properties, house hunting, and selling your current home. Also, you must factor in temporary housing as you might be unable to move into your new residence immediately.
You should hire professional movers when relocating to a new county in Missouri. They can lift some of the weight off your shoulders by packing your items and safely loading and unloading them into the vehicle. Remember to ensure they’re licensed and insured to guarantee reimbursement should they damage your valuables during moving.
Moreover, start preparing for your relocation to another county as early as six months before the big move. Doing so will give you ample time to organize your finances and plan for unprecedented occurrences.
Population Growth Rates in Missouri Counties
These are some of Missouri’s rapidly-growing counties. Often, these population increases allude to an improving economy and other vital factors contributing to a better quality of life, such as good infrastructure, a reliable healthcare and education system, and the availability of irresistible fun destinations.
But still, some of Missouri’s counties have recorded declining populations over the past few years, including Nodaway County, Vernon County, New Madrid County, and Dent County. These regions lack sufficient economic, educational, and entertainment opportunities, prompting their residents to seek them elsewhere.
If you contemplate relocating to another county in Missouri, do your homework to ensure it meets all your requirements and can improve your life’s quality. Otherwise, it won’t be worth it.
Summary of the 7 Fastest-Growing Counties in Missouri
|Rank||County||Former Population||Current Population||Population Growth since 2010|
|6||St. Charles County||405,262||418,696||16.15%|
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