Tallies for the 2010 federal census have been released, showing some surprising shifts in the bi-county area.
The explosive growth in the bi-county area recorded between 1990 and 2000 slowed substantially in the past decade. Populations in both Barry and Lawrence counties grew, but nearly half the towns showed a drop in residents.
Barry County recorded 35,597 people, up 5 percent or 1,587 people. Between 1990 and 2000 the population had risen by 23 percent.
Lawrence County had 38,634 people in 2010, up 10 percent or 3,430 people. Between 1990 and 2000 the Lawrence County population rose by 16 percent.
Monett led all the bi-county towns in growth, increasing its population by 20 percent. The new population count on the city limits sign will be 8.873, up 1,477 people.
Mt. Vernon grew by the next largest number of people. An additional 558 people pushed the town tally up to 4,575, a rise of 14 percent. In the previous census Mt. Vernon had grown by 8 percent.
Aurora was right behind, increasing by 494 to a new total of 7,508, an increase of 7 percent, following a jump of 9 percent between 1990 and 2000.
Cassville followed with an increase of 376 people, putting the new count at 3,266, a rise of 13 percent. Between 1990 and 2000 Cassville grew by 22 percent.
Other towns showing population increases in Barry County were:
* Butterfield, 470, up 18 percent from 397 after rising 60 percent between 1990 and 2000.
* Exeter, 772, up 9 percent from 707 after an 18 percent rise between 1990 and 2000.
Barry County cities falling in population were:
* Purdy, 1,098, down five people or .5 percent.
* Seligman, 851, down 3 percent from 877.
* Washburn, 435, down 13 people or 3 percent after a 24 percent rise between 1990 and 2000.
* Wheaton, 696, down 25 people or 3 percent after rising 13 percent between 1990 and 2000.
Marionville was the only other Lawrence County town to gain in population, gaining 112 people for a 5 percent rise. Marionville's population rose by 10 percent between 1990 and 2000.
Lawrence County towns dropping in population were:
* Pierce City, 1,291, losing 93 people or 7 percent after fluctuating by only three people between 1990 and 2000.
* Verona, 619, dropping 95 people or 13 percent after a 31 percent rise between 1990 and 2000.
* Freistatt, 163, down 11 percent or 21 people. The present population is three less than the 1990 count.
* Halltown, 173, down 16 people or 8 percent after rising 17 percent between 1990 and 2000.
* Miller, 699, down 55 people or 7 percent after the population changed by only one person between 1990 and 2000.
* Stotts City, 220, down 30 people or 12 percent. The current count is 12 people less than the 1980 census after a 15 person rise between 1990 and 2000.
Nearby small towns showed the same variability in counts. Wentworth, where the children go to the Pierce City School District, gained six people for a count of 147. Ritchey gained six people for a tally of 82. La Russell lost 21 people for a 17 percent drop and a current tally of 114.
The general upward trend in population counts appeared in other adjacent counties as well. The Newton County population rose by 10 percent to 58,114. McDonald County was up by 6 percent to 23,083. Stone County rose by 12 percent to 32,202. Christian County saw the biggest spike, growing by 43 percent for a total of 77,422.
The exception was Dade County, which has long had the highest unemployment rate in the area. The Dade County population dropped by 40 people for a new total of 7,883.