Jul 1 2001
Contact: Spence Jackson, (573) 751-4951

Missouri Census Information

Missouri's "youngest county" is Adair County in the north, home to Truman State University, with a median age of 27.9 years. Hickory County in the Ozarks, where so many seniors have retired to enjoy the Pomme de Terre Lake country, has the highest median age, 49.7 years.

African-Americans comprise 11.7 percent of our population, representing our state's largest racial or ethnic minority.

One household in four (24 percent) is home to one or more senior citizens, aged 65 or above.

Our Hispanic/Latino population nearly doubled between 1990 and 2000, increasing to 118,592 in 2000, from 60,429.

Among cities and towns, Branson West's growth rate of 1,003 percent was the highest in the state between 1990 and 2000.

Missouri's three largest metropolitan areas in 2000 were St. Louis (2,003,762), Kansas City (1,070,052), and Springfield (325,721).

My office works closely with the U.S. Census Bureau to provide training, consultation, and statistical information to Missouri citizens, state, county, and local governments, businesses, and other organizations.

As lead agency for the Census Bureau's State Data Center Program, the State Library is the center of a statewide network that includes Missouri libraries, state agencies, regional planning commissions, and small business development centers.

By federal law, the Census Bureau strictly protects the confidentiality of individual responses on census forms. No person or agency (including the U.S. president, federal agencies, and state and local officials) can access individual census data. In fact, collective information is never released unless there are enough responses within an area to assure the confidentiality of individual answers. Also by federal law, census records cannot be opened for historical and genealogical research until a 72-year embargo has passed. Information from the 1930 census will become available to the public in 2002.

As you know, the census is the basis for the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Missouri General Assembly. But the value of census information reaches far beyond the drawing of legislative boundaries.

For example, businesses use census data to find the number of people who live in a city, ZIP code, or other area for marketing products and services. Census numbers also provide the number of potential employees within driving distance of a possible business location. Transportation agencies use the census to analyze commuting patterns, a key factor in road-building decisions.

In addition, the census governs the distribution of significant federal and state grant funds, including Title I funds for local schools, the WIC nutrition program for expectant mothers and young children, community development block grants, Head Start, and rural water systems.

Are you interested in this or other information? The Library's Reference Services website will link automatically with data available to us, bringing information quickly and efficiently to your desktop computer. The website also links to many federal agencies online and provides direct access to their products and services. These may be accessed at:

If you have questions, would like to know more about the program and services, or wish to locate census affiliates in your area, you may call the Missouri Census Data Center at 573-526-7648 or the Missouri State Library Reference Division at 573-751-3615.

Providing useful information to you is one of our most important jobs … and we love to tell people about our great state, Missouri.