The past four decades have seen Lee’s Summit’s population and housing stock grow by about 250%. It’s now the sixth-biggest city in the Kansas City metro area as well as the state.

Now, as Lee’s Summit nears its 157th birthday — its founding was Oct. 25, 1865 — it boasts a revitalized downtown, more retail options than ever before and still more room to grow.

Despite being founded in 1865 as the 11-block Town of Strother and incorporated three years later under the name Town of Lee’s Summit (population: 100), the city’s population didn’t start exploding until the 1950s.

According to the latest decennial census, its population now exceeds 100,000.

During the past 40 years, the city has seen its housing stock grow 253%, from roughly 12,500 units in 1982 to nearly 44,000 in 2021. The base year for this chart is 1981. At that point, the city had 12,178 housing units.