Barry County's population has grown by 5 percent, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures released on Friday.
The county's explosive growth recorded between 1990 and 2000 has slowed substantially in the past decade. The latest Census totals show Barry County's population total now stands at 35,597 people, up 5 percent or 1,587 people, from the 2000 total of 34,010.
When 2000 Census figures were announced, Barry County's population had risen by 23 percent in 10 years from 27,547 in 1990.
Monett led all the bi-county towns in growth, increasing its population by 20 percent. The new population count on the city limits sign will be 8.873, up 1,477 people.
Mt. Vernon grew by the next largest number of people. An additional 558 people pushed the town tally up to 4,575, a rise of 14 percent. In the previous census Mt. Vernon had grown by 8 percent.
Aurora was right behind, increasing by 494 to a new total of 7,508, an increase of 7 percent, following a jump of 9 percent between 1990 and 2000.
Cassville followed with an increase of 376 people, putting the new count at 3,266, a rise of 13 percent. Between 1990 and 2000 Cassville grew by 22 percent.
Other towns showing population increases in Barry County were:
* Butterfield, 470, up 18 percent from 397 in 2000 after rising 60 percent between 1990 and 2000.
* Exeter, 772, up 9 percent from 707 in 2000 after an 18 percent rise between 1990 and 2000.
Barry County cities falling in population were:
* Purdy, 1,098, down five people or .5 percent.
* Seligman, 851, down 3 percent from 877.
* Washburn, 435, down 13 people or 3 percent after a 24 percent rise between 1990 and 2000.
* Wheaton, 696, down 25 people or 3 percent after rising 13 percent between 1990 and 2000.
The general upward trend in population counts appeared in neighboring counties as well. Lawrence County's population rose to 38,634 people in 2010, up 10 percent or 3,430 people from 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, the Lawrence County population rose by 16 percent.
The Newton County population rose by 10 percent to 58,114 in 2010. McDonald County was up by 6 percent to 23,083. Stone County rose by 12 percent to 32,202. Christian County saw the biggest spike, growing by 43 percent for a total population count of 77,422.
The exception was Dade County, which has long had the highest unemployment rate in the area. The Dade County population dropped by 40 people for a new total of 7,883.