The Census Bureau released data Thursday placing Manhattan among the 10 fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation.
The data found that between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012, the area’s population rose 2.8 percent, the 10th largest increase by percent of any metro area. The Manhattan metropolitan area includes Junction City and Wamego, and much of the increase appeared to be related to the return of soldiers to Fort Riley from assignments overseas.
Junction City ranked second among the 10 fastest-growing micro areas with 7.4 percent growth during that same time period, and Geary County ranked third in fastest growing counties at 7.4 percent growth as well. The only micro area growing at a faster rate than Junction City was Williston, N.D., with a 9.3 percent growth. The only two counties growing faster than Geary County were Chattahoochee County in Georgia, 10.1 percent, and Williams County, N.D., 9.3 percent.
Chamber President Lyle Butler said he wasn’t surprised by the growth, but he was surprised the area made the national top 10. He cited growth at the university and an increasing number of jobs in addition to military growth as contributing factors.