The state total resident population in Census 2000 was 5,595,211, ranking Missouri 17th among all U.S. states. St. Louis County remained the state's largest county, surpassing the million-population threshold.
Missouri's population grew by 478,138 persons since 1990, a growth rate of 9.3 percent. This growth was larger than in any other decade this past century. As in recent decades, there were substantial population gains in the Ozarks and in the state's metropolitan areas. But there also was new growth in many rural counties north and south. Regional population shifts show a continued expansion outward from older, larger urban centers. In fact, the population outside Missouri's combined municipal areas grew at a faster rate in the 1990s (12.1%) than the combined population within them (7.9%).
Population Growth Rate by County
Among Missouri's counties, Christian County grew by the highest percentage rate (66.3%) and St. Charles County gained the most population (70,976) last decade. Worth County is Missouri's least populous county, with 2,382 citizens. Pemiscot County lost 1,874 citizens, the most of any county outside St. Louis City. Atchison County suffered through the fastest rate of decline, losing 13.8% of its residents.
Population Growth Rate by Region
In Missouri, population grew by 478,310, or 9.3 percent, between 1990 and 2000. The greatest population growth was 27.16 percent in the springfield region. Other regions in Missouri experiencing rapid growth in that period were the southwest (16.7 percent), Lake Ozark-Rolla (15.2 percent), and central (15.0 percent) regions. The North central region had negative growth (-0.57 percent) followed by slow growth in the bootheel (1.45 percent), northwest (3.37 percent), and northeast (3.68 percent) regions.
Area, 69,674 sq mi.
Pop. (2000) 5,595,211, an 9.3% increase since the 1990 census.
Capital, Jefferson City.
Largest city, St. Louis.
Motto, “Salus populi suprema lex esto,” [let the good (or welfare) of the people be the supreme law.]
State bird, bluebird.
State flower, blossom of the hawthorn.
State tree, flowering Dogwood Missouri's Official state tree in 1955.
State animal, Missouri Mule.
From the Great Plains to the Ozark Mountains, there's so much to discover about Missouri! Missouri's people are about as different as the landscape — jazz-and-blues legends from Kansas City to old-time country fiddlers in the hollers.
Missouri is rich in history and culture. American Indian warriors, such as the Osage and Missouri, and famous pioneers, such as Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, were drawn to the vast waterways of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and the abundant land and wildlife. The thriving city life found in Kansas City and St. Louis, as well as the quiet beauty of limestone bluffs and winding rivers, make Missouri a great place to explore even today.
Across the state, only 4 1/2 hours from St. Louis via Interstate 70, is Missouri's second major metro area, Kansas City. Greater Kansas City is one of the agribusiness capitals of the U.S. It boasts superb convention facilities, impressive parks and fountains (adding to the city's renowned “liveability”) and an international airport which provides western Missouri with modern air facilities.
But Kansas City and St. Louis are not Missouri's only important population centers. Springfield and Joplin in southwestern Missouri form the hub of one of the nation's fastest growing regions. These cities could well be called the “Gateway to the Southwest” as more and more industries recognize the area's potential for growth. Telecommunications, transportation and warehousing are among the industries which are particularly attracted to this area. In southeast Missouri, Cape Girardeau's location on the Mississippi River makes it a shipping and business hub. The Corps of Engineers recently completed a large, deep water harbor there.
*VisitMO.com - The official Tourism site for the state of Missouri