The city of Farmington’s Development Services Director Tim Porter did some number crunching after the U.S. Census Bureau’s numbers came out and recently presented a report to the city council about the city’s growth over the past 10 years.
“Our April 1, 2020 population is 18,217,” he said. “In 2010, our population was 16,240. It’s about a 12% change in population. We are the 46th largest city in Missouri.
"There are roughly 1,000 cities that are counted. We’ve grown a lot since 1870, when we were around 400 people. We really experience big growth from around 1980 to 1990 that coincided with Maple Valley development, Walmart expansion and the opening of the prison.
“In the region, we are near the top in terms of percentage change of positive growth. Ste. Genevieve and Jackson are two that have grown ahead of us in terms of their rate. Some of the other towns haven’t fared so well. Park Hills and Desloge have had a net negative population, which is unfortunate. We would like to see the entire region flourish and grow at a good positive rate.”
Porter said that in cities greater than 10,000 people, Farmington is 18th in terms of population change percentage. With the exception of Branson, the 17 cities ranked above Farmington in percentage growth are part of a metropolitan statistical area.
“For example, Wentzville is part of that metropolitan statistical area that is St. Louis,” he said. “Farmington is kind of that standalone community that is growing in a very healthy manner at 12%. We are our own kind of a micropolitan area. We are where folks go to shop and spend their money.”
As part of the census, the prison offender population is counted as part of the municipality and/or county where they are housed. According to the Missouri Department of Corrections, the Farmington Correctional Center has 443 less offenders than it did in 2010, which affects the population count for the city of Farmington.
The Eastern Reception & Diagnostic Correctional Center (ERDCC) in Bonne Terre has 240 less offenders incarcerated there than in 2010. The loss of offenders in both facilities affects the total population of St. Francois County. St. Francois County has a population count of 66,922, up from the 2010 count of 65,359, for an increase of 2.39%.
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org