What a Difference a Decade Makes
The Census Bureau released the 2014 population estimates for the nation in late March. It is interesting to look at county population change in the MARC region during the first four years of this decade compared to the first four years of the last decade, when we were also recovering from a recession (albeit a much weaker one). Overall, the region’s population is growth significantly slower this time around, having added 64,000 people this decade compared to 78,000 during the same length time period last decade, or about 82 percent of last decade’s population growth. The distribution of that growth is more interesting, as revealed in the chart below.
Johnson County remains the fastest growing county, adding 30,000 people and accounting for 46 percent of the entire MARC region’s overall population growth between 2010 and 2014. However, this is about two-thirds of the growth it experienced last decade when it accounted for 53 percent of the region’s total population growth. Leavenworth and Clay counties are growing just about as fast this decade as they did last, and Platte is growing about three-quarters as fast.
But the most remarkable change is that both of the region’s most urban counties are growing substantially faster than they did last decade. Jackson County’s population growth of 9,000 is nearly three times what it experienced during the same four-year period last decade, while Wyandotte’s population growth shifted trend entirely, from losing 3,000 people last decade to gaining 4,000 people this decade.