Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Missouri's Population Trends Over the Last 100 Years

Bookmark and Share

The Show Me State has dropped from the 7th to the 18th most populous state in the nation since 1910, losing half of its U.S. House seats along the way

This is Smart Politics' fifth in a series of reports on population trends among the states over the past century. Previous reports focused on Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

Although Missouri held out hope it would save its 9th Congressional District seat when new Census and reapportionment numbers were released a few months ago, the end result was an all too familiar verdict handed down over the past century as Missouri has struggled to keep pace with the nation's growing population.

Over the last 100 years, Missouri has fallen from the 7th most populous state in the nation to its current standing of just 18th.

During that span Missouri has seen its U.S. House delegation cut in half, from a high of 16 seats after the 1910 Census to its forthcoming eight-member delegation when the 113th Congress convenes in 2013.

While current population trends suggest Missouri will just barely hold onto its #18 slot after the 2020 Census - with Maryland nipping at its heels - it has seen 11 states from coast-to-coast eclipse it in population over the last century, without passing a single state:

· In 1910, Missouri's population of 3.29 million residents was smaller than only six other states: New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, and Massachusetts.

· After the 1920 Census, it fell to 9th (passed by California and Michigan).

·In 1930, it dropped one spot to 10th (New Jersey).

· In 1950, Missouri fell to #11 (North Carolina).

· In 1960, it dropped to #13 (Florida, Indiana).

· In 1980, two more states passed Missouri dropping it to #15 (Georgia, Virginia).

· In 2000, it fell to #17 (Tennessee, Washington).

·In 2010, it dropped to #18 (Arizona).

Missouri Population and U.S. House Seat Rank by Census Period

Census
Pop. Rank
Passed by
# Seats
Seats rank
1910
7
(MA, TX)
16
6 (t)
1920
9
CA, MI
16
6 (t)
1930
10
NJ
13-
10
1940
10
---
13
10
1950
11
NC
11
11 (t)
1960
13
FL, IN
10
13 (t)
1970
13
---
10
13 (t)
1980
15
GA, VA
9
15 (t)
1990
15
---
9
15 (t)
2000
17
TN, WA
9
14 (t)
2010
18
AZ
8
18 (t)
Table compiled by Smart Politics from U.S. Census Bureau data.

Although Missouri has grown in population each decade since statehood, it has not done so at a rate to keep pace with the rest of the nation.

Overall, Missouri's population increased 81.2 percent from 1910 (3.29 million) to 2010 (5.98 million), compared to a 234.8 percent increase for the United States generally.

Missouri's 81 percent increase in population over the last century is the 11th smallest in the nation behind only North Dakota (16.6 percent), Iowa (36.9 percent), South Dakota (39.4 percent), West Virginia (51.7 percent), Nebraska (53.2 percent), Mississippi (65.1 percent), Pennsylvania (65.7 percent), Vermont (75.8 percent), and Maine (78.9 percent).

Moreover, Missouri is one of just two states in the nation to have not experienced a double-digit rate of increase in any of the 11 census periods from 1910 through 2010 (with Iowa being the other).

The largest population growth rates recorded by the Show Me State during this span were 9.3 percent from 1990 to 2000 and 9.2 percent from 1950 to 1960.

Missouri's population as a percentage of the U.S. overall fell from 3.57 percent in 1910 to 1.94 percent in 2010.

Missouri Percentage of U.S. Population and Population Growth

Census
% MO of U.S.
% MO Growth
% US Growth
1910
3.57
6.0
21.0
1920
3.21
3.4
15.0
1930
2.95
6.6
16.2
1940
2.86
4.3
7.3
1950
2.61
4.5
14.5
1960
2.41
9.2
18.5
1970
2.30
8.3
13.3
1980
2.17
5.1
11.5
1990
2.06
4.1
9.8
2000
1.99
9.3
13.2
2010
1.94
7.0
9.7
Table compiled by Smart Politics from U.S. Census Bureau data.

As a result of its slow rate of population growth vis-à-vis the rest of the country, Missouri has endured a 50 percent cut in the number of seats it holds in the U.S. House of Representatives since membership was set at 435 seats after the 1910 Census.

Missouri's eight seats in 2013 will comprise just 1.8 percent of the U.S. House in two years - its lowest mark since the 1830 Census, when Missouri's two seats comprised 0.8 percent of the nation's lower legislative chamber.

The 50 percent decline in seats is tied for the fourth largest in the country, behind only North and South Dakota (-66.7 percent) and Iowa (-63.6 percent).

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Which States Have the Longest-Serving U.S. House Delegations?
Next post: Scott Walker Dominates 2011 Media Coverage of Gubernatorial Politics

1 Comment


  • Interesting, thank you for this article.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

    Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

    Political Crumbs

    Evolving?

    When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


    73 Months and Counting

    January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting