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Examiner
  • Census data show Blue Springs ties for state’s 10th largest city

  • As the U.S. Census Bureau released detailed figures on Missouri’s population on Thursday, some in Blue Springs could be forgiven for holding their breaths and wondering: Will the numbers put the city among the 10 largest in the state? Estimates for several years have put the city neck and neck with St. Peters, in the St. Louis area.

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  • It’s a tie.
    As the U.S. Census Bureau released detailed figures on Missouri’s population on Thursday, some in Blue Springs could be forgiven for holding their breaths and wondering: Will the numbers put the city among the 10 largest in the state? Estimates for several years have put the city neck and neck with St. Peters, in the St. Louis area.
    Thursday’s figures have each city at 52,575, a figure that Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross said is selling the city short.
    “Something’s screwy about that. We’re going to have to take a look at that,” Ross said.
    At 52,575, the city would have grown 8.4 percent 2000, when the figure was 48,483. Still, state estimates issued each year had shown the city growing much faster, adding hundreds of residents each year and reaching an estimated 55,817 in 2009. Other large cities’ estimates through the last decade turned out to be off too. Independence has 116,830 residents, according to the census, not the 121,180 estimate the state had posted for 2009. Lee’s Summit – now the sixth largest city in the state – comes in at 91,364, compared with the 2009 estimate of 86,565. Jackson County came in Thursday at 674,158, rather than the 2009 estimate of 705,708.
    Still, time is on Blue Springs’ side. It’s been growing more quickly than St. Peters, and Ross points out that it has room to grow, while St. Peters basically doesn’t. He said Blue Springs will probably come in at 65,000 to 70,000 people in the next census in 2020 and eventually top out at around 75,000. (The St. Peters 2010 figure, he said, also should be higher.)
    Ross and he and the St. Peters mayor have had a friendly exchange over who would have bragging rights. The tie put it in a different light.
    “So we can both say ha-ha to each other,” he said.
    Missouri’s 10 largest cities are:
    1. Kansas City – 459,787, a gain of 3.9 percent from 442,369 in 2000.
    2. St. Louis –  319,294, a decline of 7.9 percent from 346,904.
    3. Springfield – 159,498, a gain of 4.7 percent from 152,231.
    4. Independence – 116,830, a gain of 2.8 percent from 113,581.
    5. Columbia – 108,500, a gain of 26.2 percent from 85,986.
    6. Lee’s Summit – 91,364, a gain of 27.8 percent from 71,002.
    7. O’Fallon – 79,329, a gain of 55.8 percent from 50,901.
    8. St. Joseph – 76,780, a gain of 3.6 percent from 74,078.
    9. St. Charles – 65,794, a gain of 8.4 percent from 60,672.
    10. Blue Springs – 52,575, a gain of 8.4 percent from 48,483.
    10. St. Peters – 52,575, a gain of 2.1 percent from 51,473.
    The state has two other cities above the 50,000 mark. Florissant, in the St. Louis area, has declined to 52,158, while Joplin in southwest Missouri has grown to 50,150.
    Other cities in Eastern Jackson County:
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    • Grain Valley – 12,854, a 140 percent jump from 5,348 in 2000.
    • Oak Grove – 7,795, up from 5,590.
    • Buckner – 3,076, up from 2,713.
    • Lake Tapawingo – 730, down from 840.
    • Sugar Creek – 3,345, down from 3,881
    • Lake Lotawana – 1,939, down from 2,050
    • Levasy – 83, from from 107
    • Sibley – 357, up from 346.
    Page 2 of 2 - Jackson County, with 674,158, remains the second largest county in the state, behind St. Louis County, with 998,954.
     

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