The latest population data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday indicates that while the Kansas City metro area is holding its rank, St. Louis is falling behind. Although the population of St. Louis grew minimally between 2016 and 2017, it was not enough to keep up with the growth of the cities above it and thus it fell in overall rankings, falling out of the top 20 in the country. The population of St. Louis fell by more than 4,500 residents which marks the largest decrease since the 2010 Census.
Although the city of St. Louis saw a significant decrease, the overall metro area grew slightly. The largest growth in St. Louis occurred in St. Charles County, which added more than 4,700 residents. Officials point to the affluent suburb’s quality schools, low crime rates, and prevalence of jobs as reasons for its popularity.
The population of Kansas City grew by 22,500 during this same time period, which was enough to maintain its ranking as the 30th largest metro area. Johnson County saw the most growth, increasing by more than 6,400 people. Although this growth clearly outpaced the rest of the metro area, the increase was still not enough to catch up with leader Jackson County.
Despite all the shifts in population centers, the top ten overall metro areas in the nation remain unchanged with the New York City area still leading the pack. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area saw the largest increase for cities, adding more than 146,000 residents in one year. The biggest jump as listed by county happened in Maricopa County in the Phoenix area in which the population increased by 74,000 people since mid-2016. The national population estimate as reported by the Census Bureau is 327,398,525.