Population Gowth in Columbia

The 2010 Census numbers are out and much is being made of the results, particularly here in Missouri where we’re losing a Congressional seat due to declining population. Out of the state’s 115 counties, only 41 are growing.The other 74–many in northeast Missouri–are shrinking.

Boone County is doing fairly well though when it comes to population. Not only is the county growing, Columbia is now the 5th most populated city in the state and the one out of those five with the highest growth rate–28.4%. Much of that increase is due to inward migration from surrounding counties, both to the north and the south of Boone. The city also attributes the growth to increased college enrollment and more retirees locating to Columbia.

The big question is how will this inward migration pattern affect the character of Columbia? For a city long dominated by not one but three colleges, we’ve become accustomed to a highly educated, highly involved population that leans towards the progressive.Will newcomers to the city adapt to this particular world view or will Columbia itself begin to change?