The Mo-Kan Regional Council service area consists of six counties; Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton, and DeKalb counties in Missouri, and Atchison and Doniphan counties in Kansas.
The United States Census Bureau reports for the 2000 decennial Census of Population and Housing that the Mo-Kan region has a population of 158,089. Of this population, 102,490 persons live within the St. Joseph, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area, and 73,990 persons live within the City of St. Joseph itself. Broken down by county, Buchanan County represents 55% of the Mo-Kan region's population, with Clinton County representing 12% and Atchison County, Kansas representing 11%. Andrew, DeKalb, and Doniphan Counties make up the remaining 22% of the region's population, with 10%, 7%, and 5% respectively.
For much of the early and mid-Twentieth Century, the livelihood of the Mo-Kan region was centered on agriculture; the mainstay of the regional economy was the family farm. This was evidenced by the rise of the City of St. Joseph as a regional trade and distribution center for locally grown commodities, particularly grain and cattle. The success of agriculture in the region spawned multiple secondary and tertiary industries.
the Twentieth Century waned, however, a number of factors negatively impacted
the agriculture-based economy of the region. Advances in technology such
as improved pesticides, fertilizers, farm implements, and planting techniques
dramatically increased crop yields and reduced the demand for labor. This,
coupled with falling transportation costs and increases in global trade,
resulted in a downward spiral of commodity prices, forcing many farmers
to shutter operations. Further compounding the issue was the Farm Crisis
of the early 1980s, brought about by skyrocketing interest rates and plummeting
impact on the region was substantial. Communities whose livelihoods were
dependent on the support of surrounding farmland witnessed substantial
decreases in population. As farm families left the region in search of
gainful employment in larger urban centers, so too did the agrarian support
industries, such as commodity processing plants, seed distributors, and
implement dealers. In turn, the decreasing population led to the closure
of grocery stores, restaurants, and schools, unable to provide the same
level of services with a diminished customer base.
Median Household Income for the Mo-Kan region, as reported for 2000 by the U.S. Census Bureau, is $35,928, below the average for the United States and the States of Missouri and Kansas. However, two counties in the Mo-Kan service area, Clinton and Andrew, enjoy median house income figures higher than the Mo-Kan average, at $41,629 and $40,688, respectively.
Mo-Kan Regional Council is an official Census Data Affiliate, and provides Census data to all member communities at no charge. Call Mo-Kan for more information.