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Kansas population grows 3% promoting downtown growth; state keeps 4 US House seats

(AP)
Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 3:22 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The state’s population has grown 3% over the last 10 years according to the U.S. Census Bureau. On Monday, they reported the state had 2,937,880 residents in its most recent, once-a-decade population count. That was 84,762 more than the 2010 census figure of 2,853,118.

Over the decade, The state’s population growth was less than the national figure of 7.4%.

As the population grows so does the city of Topeka. The former Briman’s Leading Jewelers store on Kansas Avenue was bought by AIM Strategies, owned by Cody Foster, for $178,000 with hopes of bringing more business to downtown Topeka.

“They want to grow this community and continue to keep our place of top 5 cities in the state of Kansas,” said City Manager Brent Trout. “There are cities that will be faced with the fact they may have declining populations and so in some cases, and it’s kind of the environment were in of not having a decrease will be a step in the right direction.”

Trout said he doesn’t have specifics related to the building and what their intentions are for what the new owners want to do.

Seth Wagoner, CEO of AIM Strategies, said they plan to have a retail store on the first floor of the three-floor building, but could not tell us what store it is or what the plan to do with the second and third floor.

With private development plans though, a lot of the time the information is not shared with the city until transactions happen.

Once the signature is signed and the payment is set -- the city will help to make sure that the new owner succeeds and the city continues to see growth according to Trout.

“Then we start meeting with those new owners about what their intent and plans are trying to work with them in order to bring their dream to reality,” he said.

Wagoner said a great downtown signals a great community.

“I think for us it’s just really changing that demographic pattern get the people to come down here.”

AIM strategies now own more than 10 businesses, most of which are downtown. Wagoner said it is momentum for other investors to look towards downtown developments.

“I think it was the public-private-partnership with the city and county I think we’re going to see the floodgates open in the next few years in downtown,” he said. “If it wasn’t us it would have been somebody.”

With the population increase at 3%, the state remains with four representatives in the U.S. House.

According to the U.S. Census data -- after the 1790 census, each member of the house represented about 34,000 residents. Since then, the house has more than quadrupled in size (from 105 to 435 seats), and each member will represent an average of 761,169 people based on the 2020 census. In Kansas, it is at 2,940,865.

The U.S. Census Bureau said that due to modifications to processing activities, COVID-19 data collections delays, and the census bureau’s obligation to provide high-quality data, states are expected to receive redistricting data in mid-to-late August, and the full redistricting data with toolkits for ease of use will be delivered by September 30.

“We’re just encouraging everyone to come downtown and investors to come downtown and look at the Tif district work with the city and again we’re just trying to make Topeka a much better place,” said Wagoner.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas saw its population grow 3% from 2010 to 2020 and the state will keep its four U.S. House seats.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday that the state had 2,937,880 residents in its most recent, once-a-decade population count. That was 84,762 more than the 2010 census figure of 2,853,118.

The state’s population growth over the decade was less than the national figure of 7.4%.

Even without the loss of a congressional seat, the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature and Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly face a contentious battle next year over adjusting political boundaries.

GOP legislators hope to redraw the 3rd Congressional District in the Kansas City area so that it’s easier for Republicans to oust the only Kansas Democrat in Congress, Rep. Sharice Davids.

The 1st District of western and central Kansas is likely to expand. Ninety of the state’s 105 counties have been losing population, while northeast Kansas has seen the most robust growth.

Legislative seats also are expected to shift from rural areas to northeast Kansas and perhaps the Wichita area.

More detailed figures will be released later this year showing population by race, Hispanic origin, gender and housing at geographic levels as small as neighborhoods. This redistricting data will be used for redrawing precise congressional and legislative districts.

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