SHAWNEE COUNTY (KSNT) – The latest U.S. Census Bureau numbers show that Shawnee county is getting a boost in population numbers.
“I think every community in America loves to have that tagline, this is a great place to raise a family,” CEO of Greater Topeka Partnership, Matt Pivarnik said.
Shawnee County along with the greater Topeka area is becoming just that. From diversity, to age and growth, Shawnee County has found itself in the top five counties in the sunflower state when it comes to population change, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau.
“The data shows that between 2019 and 2021, the population grew by almost 1,400 people in Shawnee county,” Senior Economic Advisor for Greater Topeka Partnership, Freddy Mawyin said. “This is the fastest and the most significant population growth that we have seen in more than a decade.”
There’s no question that along with a bump in population, Shawnee County and the capital city is becoming more diverse. The population distribution for multi-racial population in 2019 was roughly 3.3%. In 2021, that number jumped to more than 10% with the Asian population increasing by nearly 25% and the Latino population by more than 4%. With this, the community has also lowered the median age by almost two years, coming in at just over 38-years-old.
“We are creating more jobs in the community, and with a goal of making Shawnee County, the City of Topeka, a better place to live, to work and a better place just to be,” Mawyin said. “So, I think all of those are the reasons we’re seeing those numbers increase.”
Pivarnik couldn’t be happier.
“If somebody would of asked me a few years ago what are three of your dreams, I may of said I’d love to see our population growing, I’d love to see our community become younger and I’d love to see us more diverse,” Pivarnik said.
While these goals have been met in the meantime, the grind doesn’t stop here.
“This thing on community and economic development, it’s never over and we’re never satisfied,” Pivarnik said. “I think a lot of times when we have incremental success, our citizens and people in the community are worried that we feel like we’ve arrived, but we haven’t. This is the tip of the iceberg.”
Pivarnik adds that while these census numbers are great, the work is not done. He says now it’s time to double down, create a new strategy and work on growing even more through 2027.