Missouri’s population rose 0.3% between July 2017 and July 2018 to more than 6.1 million, according to estimates released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Fifty-two of the state’s 114 counties lost population. Southeast Missouri in particular saw significant declines, with the state’s four southeasternmost counties — Pemiscot, Dunklin, New Madrid and Mississippi — all losing at least 1.5 percent of their population year-over-year.
Lincoln County northwest of St. Louis saw the largest year-over-year percentage growth, at 2.8%. Lincoln and three more counties — No. 2 Christian, No. 4 Platte and No. 6 Clay — of the six that experienced the largest percentage growth from 2017 to 2018 contain suburbs or exurbs of the state’s most populous cities.
International migration accounted for about 45% of Missouri’s population gains for the year, according to the Census data. Missouri gained an estimated net of 17,840 residents, and net international migration for the year was 8,077. That was down slightly from an estimated 8,169 in 2017. The peak of the past eight years was 9,122 in 2015.