Archive for Thursday, March 10, 2011

Census: Basehor doubles in population in just a decade

Leavenworth County was one of 11 in Kansas to grow by more than 5 percent in the last decade, according to 2010 census information released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Leavenworth County was one of 11 in Kansas to grow by more than 5 percent in the last decade, according to 2010 census information released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

March 10, 2011

The city of Basehor’s population more than doubled from 2000 to 2010, making it the fastest-growing city in Leavenworth County during that period, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2010 Census released this week.

The city’s population grew from 2,238 at the time of the 2000 Census to 4,613 in 2010 — an increase of 2,375 or 106 percent. That growth was tops among the six cities within Leavenworth County, both by percentage and by total residents added.

The growth in Basehor accounted for nearly a third of the total population growth in Leavenworth County during those 10 years. The county grew from 68,691 residents in 2000 to 76,227 in 2010, an increase of about 10 percent.

City administrator Mark Loughry said the growth was in line with city staff’s expectations for the Census count. But he said that kind of rapid growth was remarkable to him after coming to Basehor from western Kansas, where a city might be thrilled to grow by 2 or 3 percent rather than losing population.

“I think it’s incredible,” Loughry said.

The city has probably also doubled in physical size during the last 10 years, he said, but that expansion occurred because of the population growth in the area. The city annexed a number of new housing developments during that time, partly to allow the residents there to tap into city services, he said.

“The reason those developments occurred is because of people moving to the area,” Loughry said.

The growth in Fairmount Township as a whole, which includes Basehor, suggests that big numbers of people were indeed moving to the area surrounding the city.

The township grew from a population of 6,266 in 2000 to 8,788 in 2010, an growth of about 40 percent. That increase of 2,522 was the largest number of residents added to any of the county’s townships, though Sherman Township in the southeast corner of the county grew by a larger percentage, 78.

The rapid growth has had positive and negative effects on the city, Loughry said.

The influx of residents has forced the city to upgrade its infrastructure more quickly than planned, he said, including the construction of a new water treatment plant that ultimately resulted in a 40 percent sewer rate hike for residents this year. The city has also had to increase its staff to provide law enforcement over a wider area and maintain more streets.

“Those are all growing pains, things that we can handle,” Loughry said.

But the addition of so many newer housing developments also means that much of the city’s streets and other infrastructure is fairly new. The city is not faced with repairing a crumbling infrastructure, as a city near its size in the western part of the state might be.

Loughry predicted that rapid growth would continue in Basehor and other developing communities on the edges of the Kansas City metropolitan area, especially if the housing market picks up after the slowdown of the past few years.

“I think we’ll see growth really accelerate when the economy finally turns around,” Loughry said.

If things do turn around, and more jobs arrive at Village West in Kansas City, Kan., and Fort Leavenworth, Basehor’s population could even hit the 10,000 mark by 2020, he said.

As Basehor grew between 2000 and 2010, it also became somewhat more racially diverse, according to the Census figures.

The portion of residents identifying as “Black or African American” grew from just 8, or 0.4 percent of the city, in 2000 to 117 in 2010, 2.5 percent of the population. And the number of people identifying as “Hispanic or Latino” grew to 168, or 3.6 percent of the city, in 2010 from just 36, or 1.6 percent, in 2000.

The vast majority of the 2010 Basehor population, 94.1 percent, was still white, though the percentage was slightly lower than in 2000, when it was 97.1 percent.

Basehor’s population also grew slightly older from 2000 to 2010. In the 2010 Census, 73.4 percent of the population was 18 or older, compared with 72.8 percent in 2000.

Though it grew more than any city in Leavenworth County, Basehor remained the fourth most populous of the six cities with the county, as Tonganoxie, the third-largest city, also experienced marked growth.

Tonganoxie grew from 2,728 residents at the time of the 2000 Census to 4,996 in 2010. That increase of 2,268 represented a growth of about 83 percent.

The city of Leavenworth’s population declined slightly over the 10-year period, from 35,420 residents in the 2000 census to 35,251 in 2010. Lansing’s population grew by about 22 percent, from 9,199 to 11,265.

The city of Bonner Springs, part of which is in Leavenworth County, increased its population by about 8 percent, from 6,768 in 2000 to 7,314 in 2010.

The 2010 Census data released last week is available to the public on the U.S. Census Bureau's American Factfinder website.

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