The Louisville Metropolitan Service Area’s population has increased by 2.8 percent since 2010, according to U.S. Census data released Thursday.

Here are population changes in some of Louisville’s peer cities.

  • Cincinnati: 1.6 percent increase
  • Columbus: 4.9 percent increase
  • Charlotte: 7.4 percent increase
  • Oklahoma City: 6.7 percent increase
  • Nashville: 7.3 percent increase
  • Indianapolis: 4.4 percent increase

About 34,000 more people are living in the metro area now than compared to about 15 years ago

Matt Ruther, director of the Kentucky Data Center, said the 2.8 increase in the Louisville MSA likely would not be noticeable to residents.

“Most of the growth is happening on the periphery,” he said. “If you were in, what we call, the city, you’re not seeing any change at all.”

The “periphery,” he said, includes Jeffersontown, Middletown and other areas outside of the urban core. The new Census data shows a trend many experts have been seeing for some time, he said.

“The state, overall, is becoming less rural, but more suburban,” he said, noting growth in suburban counties such as Oldham.

Ruther said the trend of rural to urban or rural to suburban migration is “a very sustainable model.”

“Cities use fewer resources than rural areas, as far as transportation, water infrastructure, electric infrastructure, they’re more efficient,” he said.

The Louisville Metro Service Area includes the 12 counties that surround Jefferson County—from Washington County, Indiana in the north to Nelson County, Kentucky in the south.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.