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Census shows minorities increasing in bi-county area

Friday, March 25, 2011

Downtown Monett
Federal census information about the racial composition in southwest Missouri shows a number of changes and a more diverse population reflected in the current count. The biggest shift was seen in the number of Hispanics in the area.

In Barry County, the non-Hispanic population decreased by 19 people between 2000 and 2010 as the total population increased by nearly 5 percent. In 2000, non-Hispanics made up 92.6 percent of the population. In 2010, non-Hispanics comprised 88.5 percent of the total population.

The number of Hispanics in Barry County increased by 60 percent. The count rose from 1,713 in 2000 to 2,745 in 2010. Hispanics increased from 5 percent of the population in 2000 to 7.7 percent in 2010.

Another group seeing major increases is the Asian population, largely due to the influx of the Hmong population. Residents of Asian origin increased from 89 people in 2000 to 467 in 2010.

In Lawrence County, the number of non-Hispanics rose by 3,430 people as the overall population increased by almost 10 percent. In 2000, non-Hispanics made up 94.3 percent of the population. In 2010, non-Hispanics comprised 91 percent.

The number of Hispanics in Lawrence County rose by 1,249 between 2000 and 2010. The present population of 2,444 Hispanics represents an increase from 3.4 percent of the total population to 6.3 percent in 2010.

The Asian population rose by 72 percent in a decade. The 2010 count of 136 reflects a rise of 57 people.

Municipal changes

* Monett: Census figures show the population in Monett has also become more diverse. With a 20 percent increase in the overall population, the number of non-Hispanic residents rose by 476 to 6,865.

The number of Hispanics counted in Monett officially doubled, rising from 834 in 2000 to 1,686 in 2010, going from 11 percent of the population to 19 percent. The number of Hispanics rose by 514 in the Barry County portion of Monett, going from 13.5 to 21.1 percent of the total. Numbers in the Lawrence County part of town increased by 338, going from 6 percent of the population to 15 percent.

The number of blacks counted in Monett increased from 16 to 68. Asians rose from 46 to 87.

* Purdy and Pierce City: Both Purdy and Pierce City saw their Hispanic populations rise and the non-Hispanic population drop.

Purdy's overall population changed by only five people but saw shifts within groups of people. The number of Hispanics rose by 86 to a new total of 285 or 26 percent of the total population. Asians went from two to 17. Non-Hispanics dropped by 103 and now make up 70 percent of the total.

Hispanics made up the biggest increase in Pierce City, where the count went from 14 in 2000 to 60 in 2010. The non-Hispanic population dropped by 182 people for an overall decline of nearly 7 percent.

* Verona: The Hispanic population in Verona increased by 62 people to a total of 283, or 45.7 percent, up from 31 percent in 2000. The non-Hispanic population dropped by 95 people, a 16 percent drop to for a total of just over 51 percent. Other ethnic groups dropped off the count.

* Freistatt: The pattern could also be found in Freistatt on a smaller scale. The only population group to increase was Hispanics, going from seven to 16 people, now making up nearly 10 percent of the village population. The number of non-Hispanics dropped by 27 as the village saw an overall drop of people of over 11 percent.

* Cassville: Most of the population groups increased in Cassville, where the overall count rose by 13 percent. Non-Hispanics increased by 261 people though the overall percentage dropped from nearly 95 percent to 92 percent.

Hispanics nearly doubled, from 76 to 150. Blacks increased from one to 12 while Asians dropped from 20 to 11.

* Aurora: In Aurora, where the overall population rose by 7 percent, the number of non-Hispanics increased by 90 people.

Hispanics tallied rose from 190 to 573. Hispanics now make up 7.5 percent of the total, up from nearly 3 percent in 2000. The number of Asians decreased by five and blacks increased by 7.

* Mt. Vernon: A nearly 14 percent increase in the Mt. Vernon population reflected increases in most ethnic groups. The non-Hispanic population increased by 281 people. Hispanics doubled in number to 98. Asians also doubled to a total of 22. Blacks decreased by nine to a total of 18.

* Other trends: In about half the cases, towns that recorded population drops also saw the number of minorities decrease. Wheaton, Seligman and Stotts City saw drops in the Hispanic population. Washburn, Miller and Hoberg saw the Hispanic count rise.

Smaller towns with rising populations often saw general increases in minority groups. Marionville, Exeter and Butterfield followed the "rising tide raises all boats" trend.

Shell Knob proved an exception to both patterns. The population stayed almost unchanged, both in the total, going down by two people, and the ethnic makeup, where both Asians and Hispanics changed by only one person.

* Area trends: The significant increase in Hispanic residents surfaced in a number of southwest Missouri cities.

In Newton County, which grew by 10 percent in the latest count, the Hispanic population more than doubled. The 2,537-person tally represents over 4 percent of the total. The Asian population grew from 169 to 770 people.

In Neosho, where the general population rose by nearly 13 percent, the Hispanic population rose by nearly 900 people to top 11 percent of the total. The Asian population, with the Hmong community having its New Year's celebration at Crowder College, increased from 41 to 103 people.

In McDonald County, the Hispanic population rose by 557 people and now makes up over 11 percent of the total. The Asian population increased six fold, going up 154 people. In Anderson, where the general population rose by nearly 6 percent, the Hispanic population tripled in number and now makes up nearly 10 percent of the total. The most striking change is in Southwest City where the Hispanic population rose from 37 to nearly 51 percent.

Jasper County grew by more than 12 percent. The county's Hispanic population more than doubled. The 8,027 Hispanics represent nearly 7 percent of the total. The Asian population went up 60 percent to 1,167 while the black population went up 46 percent to 1,167. Carthage saw some of the biggest changes, seeing the Hispanic population rise from nearly 13 percent to over 25 percent.

Stone County, which grew by 12 percent, saw the Hispanic population nearly double to a total of 553, less than 2 percent of the population. The count for other minorities changed very little.

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