Latest census data shows population decline in 52 Missouri counties

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COLUMBIA - New census data shows, while Missouri’s population increased slightly last year compared to 2017, more than 52 counties lost population.

Callaway County lost 55 people. The county's presiding commissioner, Gary Jungermann, said he did not see the new numbers yet, but 0.1% change in the  population is not "hundreds of people".  

Cooper County lost 40 people, and now its population is 17,603 people. Commissioner Don Baragary said the change of 0.25% is "insignificant." 

"We have no way of knowing how the population is fluctuated until we have the data," he said. 

Population in Boone County increased by nearly 1,500 to 180,005.

Boone County Presiding Commissioner Daniel Atwill said it has seen steady growth for decades.

"If you go back to 1970, the population of Boone County was 80,000 people," he said. "During these 48 years, Boone County has grown by 100,000 people."

Atwill said the growth in Boone County is remarkable, given what's happening in other areas.

"It’s hard to figure out why would people leave until you look at the things people expect to see - health care, education, insurance, entertainment," he said. 

Atwill said employment might be a significant factor in why people would leave their home county.

"The number of people who come here for work is rather high," he said. 

Missouri, in general, saw its population rise 0.3% to an estimated 6,126,452.