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Springfield, Branson area populations grow 15%

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Springfield was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in Missouri in 2008, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The metro area's population grew to 426,144 last year, up 1.6 percent - or 6,537 people - from 2007 and up 15.7 percent from 2000, the Missouri Economic Research & Information Center reports.

Five counties make up the Springfield metro area: Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas.

The second-fastest growing metro area was Columbia, with 1.5 percent population growth in 2008 and 12.8 percent growth from 2000.

Branson, meanwhile, was the fastest-growing micropolitan area in Missouri, according to MERIC. A micropolitan area is defined as an urban cluster of between 10,000 and 50,000 people.

The Branson area had a population of 78,574 in 2008, up 1.8 percent - or 1,406 people - from 2007 and up 14.9 percent from 2000.

The second-fastest growing micropolitan area in Missouri was Farmington, with 0.7 percent growth from 2007 and 13.6 percent growth from 2000.[[In-content Ad]]

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