Shawnee Co. celebrates sharpest population jump in 10 years

More people are moving to Shawnee County and that has the Greater Topeka partnership celebrating.
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 10:24 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - More people are moving to Shawnee County and that has the Greater Topeka partnership celebrating.

The Greater Topeka Partnership says data certified in 2022 by the Kansas Division of the Budget reports Shawnee County recently recorded its largest single-year growth in population in 10 years, adding 2,265 people.

“If I were to point back I would say probably going back 10, 8, or 7 years ago developing the community-wide strategy, the momentum 2022 strategy, starting to work on our net promoters for our own community morale; quite frankly just working on building a city and a community that people want to live in and convincing our own citizens that they want to live here as well,” said Greater Topeka Partnership, CEO, Matt Pivarnik.

Matt Pivarnik with GTP says the increase is the biggest among the state’s five most populous counties.

Sedgwick, Johnson, and Wyandotte counties all saw positive growth, while Douglas county lost more than 3,000 residents last year.

Pivarnik said this win is only the beginning for Topeka.

“We’re trying to be as creative as we possibly can. So incentives, one of the things we’re talking about right now is still doing the employer match with Choose Topeka, but maybe we should explore a relationship with Washburn University. How do we keep those students here and could we make it a little more financially lucrative?” said Pivarnik.

“Another program we’re looking at is the boomerang program. All of the people that grew up here and left here and live somewhere else, what if we did a boomerang program and started reaching out to them and said, you know what, the Topeka you left is not the Topeka that’s here now and so it’s time to come back. We just have to keep the pedal to the metal and keep moving in a positive direction,” Pivarnik said.

GTP says other recent surveys ranked Shawnee County as having two of the top 10 school districts in the state and the fourth hottest housing market in the United States.