Quincy/Adams County take Census hit, but Missouri holds serve

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So about that 45 X 30 plan…

I was given the impression that all of my friends who moved to Free Missouri during the past decade were being counterbalanced by doctors and other people moving into our wonderful town (It really is a wonderful town. I’m just riffing.).

But those of us who saw the naked emperor received less than surprising news earlier this month when the Census numbers showed Quincy’s population declined by 1,170 people. The city is down to fewer than 40,000 folks, with a newly-minted population of 39,463. Sa-LUTE!

At least there are no numbers to have to change on this Quincy sign near Gardner Park.

When Quincy gets a cold, Adams County has to blow its nose. The county’s population dropped by 1,366 people, with most of that coming from Quincy’s decline. Adams County now stands at 65,737.

I believe that, privately, city and county officials breathed a sigh of relief that the drop wasn’t more severe.

With all of those moving vans heading west, Marion County and Ralls County held their own.

Hannibal lost 2.5 percent of its population, a drop of more than 800 people. Yet Marion County, unlike Adams County, almost completely absorbed a population loss from its largest city. Marion’s overall population drop was only 346 residents (0.9 percent).

The only county in our Muddy River region to see an increase in population was Ralls County in Missouri. (My native county.) The Marion-Ralls line is approximately at Paris Gravel Road/Market Street. Most of Norwoods Golf Club (including the residential areas and the new homes that have been built around it) is in Ralls. The area around Perry has seen an increase of people as Mark Twain Lake is seeing residential growth (although it would see more if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would turn over some of the shoreline for private development, but that’s another column). The county’s population increased by 1.3 percent to 10,355.

Just to the south of Ralls and Pike counties, Lincoln County in Missouri saw a 12 percent increase (more than 7,000 residents) to fall just short of 60,000. Want to bet on whether Lincoln County, MO or Adams County, IL will have the highest population in 2030?

Back to Quincy. The city and Adams County hope pumping in hundreds of thousands of dollars will reverse this trend through property tax rebates for newcomers, workforce development numbers and an increase in marketing dollars. It will take another decade to see if they work. Whatever was tried over the last 10 years didn’t.

Overall, Illinois dropped by 1.2 percent to 12.8 million residents. Chicago/Cook County went up by about 100,000 people while Downstate Illinois got hammered, but the Windy City’s gains weren’t enough to offset the overall population drop in Illinois.

Illinois is also losing a congressional seat, dropping from 18 to 17.

Missouri increased by 2.5 percent to 6.1 million residents. Their congressional seats remain the same at eight.

Short of Missouri crossing the river to annex the western tip of the state, the Quincy/Adams County area will continue to feel the effect of being a part of Illinois.

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