Branson Officials Surprised by Census

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — City officials in Branson knew the tourist hub was growing but even they were surprised by the latest census figures.

The 2010 census says the city’s population jumped to 10,520 from 6,050 in 2000 — a 74 percent increase.

Branson Economic Development Director Garrett Anderson says the state had expected Branson’s population to be in the high 7,000s.

City spokesman Jerry Adams says much of the growth came from annexation, after the city added 3.4 square miles in the last decade.

The Springfield News-Leader reported Monday that Branson added several apartments to address a housing shortage.

Anderson says the city can easily handle the growth. He noted the town averages 80,000 people on a typical day during tourism season, and police, fire and water departments operate based on that population.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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