Daytime Population Changes in 
Missouri Cities

Each day commuters travel in and out of cities, sometimes working far away from where they live. This regular movement of people can result in city population changes during the day. For example, some cities are employment centers that have a small resident population, but grow substantially during the working day. Other cities may have a large residential population, but few employers and therefore have a much smaller daytime population after many of the residents leave for work. Larger cities often attract workers from smaller surrounding communities. With the first-ever release of this type of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, these "daytime" population changes can be estimated for counties and many cities in Missouri.

This information is derived from Census 2000 data and includes cities that have either a resident population or a daytime population of 2,500 or more. Although people may travel in and out of cities on a regular basis for a variety of reasons including school and shopping, this Census data only identifies those commuting for work purposes. Due to the way the data is collected, this travel to work includes all workers who travel at any time of the day.

Daytime population estimates have many uses for planning and policy development in cities. This data has implications for transportation planning, including dealing with potential traffic congestion and long commuting times, and disaster and relief planning to understand the number of people that may be affected if a disaster was to occur.

Another feature of the data is a measure of the number of workers who work and reside in the same city. For example, 88.5 percent of working residents in Springfield remain in the city to work. In St. Peters only 19.1 percent of resident workers stay in St. Peters for work, meaning 80 percent of the city's workforce leaves the city for work. This type of information can be used to indicate if a city has sufficient employment for its residents.

The information is presented in this report first by county and then on the city-level by Workforce Investment Area. Not all cities with available data are included on the maps, but they are presented in the accompanying table. Due to the time frame of the Census analysis, there may also be some changes in a city's daytime population since the collection of the data. Daytime population may be affected by employers entering or leaving an area or the movement of residents in or out of a city.

Read the full report. (PDF 1.5 MB)     


Contact Us                                                       MERIC Home