The second-fastest growing metro area was Columbia, with 1.5 percent population growth in 2008 and 12.8 percent growth from 2000.
Branson, meanwhile, was the fastest-growing micropolitan area in Missouri, according to MERIC. A micropolitan area is defined as an urban cluster of between 10,000 and 50,000 people.
The Branson area had a population of 78,574 in 2008, up 1.8 percent - or 1,406 people - from 2007 and up 14.9 percent from 2000.
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