Population statistics aid decision-makers by developing a picture of Peculiar. This picture tells the community where it was, where it is now, and where it is going in the future. A community’s population is the driving force behind its housing, local employment, economic, and the fiscal stability. Historic population conditions assist in developing demographic projections, which are utilized to determine future housing, retail, medical, employment and educational needs within the community. These projections provide an estimate for the community, from which to base future landuse and development decisions. However, population projections are only estimates and unforeseen factors can significantly affect those projections.
POPULATION TRENDS AND ANALYSIS
Table 1 identifies the population for Peculiar and the other incorporated communities in Cass County for the years 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2006. This information provides the community with a better understanding of their past and present population trends and changes. Over the past 26 years, the population of Peculiar has more than doubled with the vast majority of that growth coming in the past 16 years. The county has a whole has increased 87.7% in the past 26 years, most of that growth was in the incorporated areas; however, the unincorporated areas saw significant growth as well. The slowest growing community (Freeman) still grew by 23.5% while the fastest growing community (Raymore) grew by 424.5%. Peculiar was the second fastest growing community over the past 26 years but is the fastest growing community since 2000 with a population change of 63.1% over the past 6 years. Over the past 26 years the growth and development of the county has followed a wave of population growth that originated in the Kansas City, Missouri vicinity and has picked up several communities along the way. Belton saw the growth initially with Raymore seeing the growth hit shortly thereafter. Peculiar is now on the upswing of that development trend and if it continues as it has Peculiar can expect exponential growth for at least the next 20 to 30 years. However one community within Cass County that has seen significant growth but not in the same line as the others is Harrisonville. Harrisonville is a different scenario being as it is the county seat and at the “western gateway” to the Truman Reservoir and the Lake of the Ozarks.
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