New U.S. Census data shows Lenexa grew as many neighboring cities’ populations shrank

Lenexa saw its population increase by nearly 1,000 in the year following the decennial census, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. File photo courtesy City of Lenexa.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests Lenexa has been adding population at a much faster clip than its neighbors in Johnson County since the decennial census of 2020. In fact, as Lenexa saw its population increase by nearly 1,000 residents, a number of Johnson County cities saw their populations slightly decline.

What the data shows: The new figures are part of the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program, which provides updates on the populations of cities, counties and states on an ongoing basis. The new data released late last month give updated estimates through July 1, 2021.

How are local populations trending? The new data shows Lenexa’s population grew 1.7% from April 2020 to July 2021 — a considerably faster rate than any major city in northern Johnson County. Of the northern Johnson County cities with populations of 5,000 or more, only Shawnee saw its population increase over the period reflected in the new data, and it increased at a rate of .3%.

Other Johnson County cities’ rates of population change were:

  • Mission: -1%
  • Roeland Park: -1%
  • Merriam: -.8%
  • Leawood: -.6%
  • Prairie Village-.2%
  • Overland Park: -.1%

Why Lenexa? Much of the increasing population can be connected to Lenexa’s burgeoning City Center and the new housing developments to its west. In 2018, the Shawnee Mission School District opened Lenexa Hills Elementary in the area to accommodate the growing number of school-aged children.

Keeping an eye on the trend: Johnson Countians will have to wait a while to find out whether the slight dips in population were an anomaly or part of a trend. The Census Bureau’s next update, which will show figures through July 1, 2022, isn’t scheduled to be released until May 2023.