Cape County a bright spot in Census data

While much of rural Southeast Missouri lost population over the last 10 years, Cape Girardeau County grew by 8%. That's the general local takeaway from the 2020 Census data released recently.

Propelling Cape County's growth was a 12% surge in Jackson. Jackson went from a population of 13,758 in 2010 to 15,481 in 2020. Cape Girardeau fell short of the anticipated 40,000 mark with a 2020 population count of 39,540. That was a 4.1% increase over the 2010 census which totaled 37,973. Meanwhile, total population gain for the county was 6,036 (81,710 in 2020 compared to 75,674 in 2010).

Elsewhere in the area, the numbers were more disappointing, ranging from fractional population dips to double digital losses. Here is a breakdown of several Southeast Missouri counties: Bollinger County, -14.5%; Butler County, -1.6%; Carter, -17.0%; Dunklin, -11.5%; Iron -10.3%; Mississippi, -12.4%; New Madrid, -13.3%; Pemiscot, -14.4%; Perry, -0.1%; Reynolds, -9.0%; Scott, -2.9%; Stoddard, -4.3%; and Wayne, -18.8%.

Carbondale lost 15.61% of its population over the previous decade, while Paducah increased 8.44%.

Leaders in Cape Girardeau and Jackson voiced their approval of their respective cities, noting Cape County's population increase surpassed the state average of 2.8% over the previous 10 years. It's certainly good to see the growth taking place in Cape Girardeau County, especially when you consider the big drops our neighbors have experienced. Cape Girardeau County continues to be a regional draw for medical, retail, events, education and industry. It's affordable yet offers numerous amenities. Here's hoping a business-friendly environment continues both locally and statewide, leading to more gains in 2030.