Stacker compiled a list of counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Missouri using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and a higher cost of living in major cities have combined with opportunities for remote work over the past two years. This combination has fueled a major migration across the country.

In the first year of the pandemic, migration out of densely populated, expensive cities like New York and San Francisco was especially notable. Many moved to Sunbelt cities where the weather is warmer and the cost of living significantly lower. But not everyone who moved in recent years went very far.

Analysis of movement out of crowded cities shows that many of those leaving city centers moved into nearby suburbs in the same state, rather than making cross-country moves. Other trends suggest that many people are sticking close to home, remaining in or moving back to the state, or even the town they were born in.

Even before the pandemic, the number of younger adults living with their parents was on the rise, mostly due to financial difficulties. This economic hardship was made worse by the pandemic and resulted in many moving back in with their parents.

By the end of 2020, more than half of Americans under the age of 29 were living at home, exceeding the share of young adults living with their parents during the Great Depression. Apart from the pandemic, many people choose not to leave the state they were raised in, for reasons ranging from wanting to be close to the family to not having the resources to leave to sticking with a lower cost of living.

In order to determine where people stay put, Stacker compiled a list of counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Missouri using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest percentage of residents that were born in the state, according to 2020 5-year estimates.

50. Miller County

  • Population: 25,369
  • Born in Missouri: 18,423 (72.6% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 6,303 (24.8% of population)
    — Midwest (14.2%), Northeast (1.5%), South (5.2%), West (4.0%)
  • Born in another country: 348 (1.37% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.52%), Europe (0.22%), Latin America (0.61%), North America (0.02%), Oceania (0.00%)

49. Cape Girardeau County

  • Population: 78,834
  • Born in Missouri: 57,382 (72.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 18,841 (23.9% of population)
    — Midwest (10.5%), Northeast (1.5%), South (8.6%), West (3.3%)
  • Born in another country: 2,197 (2.79% of population)
    — Africa (0.13%) , Asia (1.77%), Europe (0.55%), Latin America (0.31%), North America (0.03%), Oceania (0.00%)

48. Saline County

  • Population: 22,932
  • Born in Missouri: 16,695 (72.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 4,985 (21.7% of population)
    — Midwest (8.3%), Northeast (1.8%), South (6.7%), West (5.0%)
  • Born in another country: 1,163 (5.07% of population)
    — Africa (0.02%) , Asia (0.40%), Europe (0.62%), Latin America (3.90%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.14%)

47. Callaway County

  • Population: 44,944
  • Born in Missouri: 32,735 (72.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 11,149 (24.8% of population)
    — Midwest (11.8%), Northeast (1.6%), South (6.9%), West (4.5%)
  • Born in another country: 810 (1.80% of population)
    — Africa (0.02%) , Asia (0.78%), Europe (0.20%), Latin America (0.42%), North America (0.10%), Oceania (0.28%)

46. Daviess County

  • Population: 8,294
  • Born in Missouri: 6,042 (72.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,156 (26.0% of population)
    — Midwest (16.2%), Northeast (0.9%), South (3.5%), West (5.4%)
  • Born in another country: 73 (0.88% of population)
    — Africa (0.02%) , Asia (0.17%), Europe (0.18%), Latin America (0.51%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

45. Cole County

  • Population: 76,630
  • Born in Missouri: 56,178 (73.3% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 17,581 (22.9% of population)
    — Midwest (11.6%), Northeast (1.0%), South (5.7%), West (4.6%)
  • Born in another country: 2,296 (3.00% of population)
    — Africa (0.72%) , Asia (1.12%), Europe (0.43%), Latin America (0.69%), North America (0.04%), Oceania (0.00%)

44. Knox County

  • Population: 3,948
  • Born in Missouri: 2,918 (73.9% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 969 (24.5% of population)
    — Midwest (15.7%), Northeast (3.6%), South (2.0%), West (3.3%)
  • Born in another country: 29 (0.73% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.46%), Europe (0.08%), Latin America (0.20%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

43. Grundy County

  • Population: 9,885
  • Born in Missouri: 7,354 (74.4% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,262 (22.9% of population)
    — Midwest (13.6%), Northeast (1.3%), South (4.8%), West (3.1%)
  • Born in another country: 226 (2.29% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.75%), Europe (0.20%), Latin America (1.14%), North America (0.19%), Oceania (0.00%)

42. Carter County

  • Population: 6,085
  • Born in Missouri: 4,528 (74.4% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,511 (24.8% of population)
    — Midwest (9.4%), Northeast (0.0%), South (9.5%), West (5.9%)
  • Born in another country: 0 (0.00% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

41. Ray County

  • Population: 22,900
  • Born in Missouri: 17,120 (74.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 5,371 (23.5% of population)
    — Midwest (9.8%), Northeast (0.8%), South (5.9%), West (6.9%)
  • Born in another country: 148 (0.65% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.16%), Europe (0.30%), Latin America (0.14%), North America (0.05%), Oceania (0.00%)

40. Reynolds County

  • Population: 6,274
  • Born in Missouri: 4,721 (75.2% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,516 (24.2% of population)
    — Midwest (12.3%), Northeast (0.6%), South (8.3%), West (2.9%)
  • Born in another country: 32 (0.51% of population)
    — Africa (0.05%) , Asia (0.24%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.22%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

39. Scott County

  • Population: 38,538
  • Born in Missouri: 29,160 (75.7% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 8,841 (22.9% of population)
    — Midwest (8.4%), Northeast (0.6%), South (11.2%), West (2.7%)
  • Born in another country: 417 (1.08% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.57%), Europe (0.16%), Latin America (0.35%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

38. Monroe County

  • Population: 8,630
  • Born in Missouri: 6,534 (75.7% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,997 (23.1% of population)
    — Midwest (13.5%), Northeast (1.5%), South (5.2%), West (2.9%)
  • Born in another country: 49 (0.57% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.30%), Europe (0.21%), Latin America (0.06%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

37. Macon County

  • Population: 15,154
  • Born in Missouri: 11,478 (75.7% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 3,490 (23.0% of population)
    — Midwest (13.8%), Northeast (0.9%), South (4.9%), West (3.4%)
  • Born in another country: 158 (1.04% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.54%), Europe (0.26%), Latin America (0.07%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.16%)

36. Livingston County

  • Population: 14,969
  • Born in Missouri: 11,368 (75.9% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 3,432 (22.9% of population)
    — Midwest (10.6%), Northeast (1.0%), South (4.9%), West (6.4%)
  • Born in another country: 121 (0.81% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.41%), Europe (0.19%), Latin America (0.15%), North America (0.06%), Oceania (0.00%)

35. Holt County

  • Population: 4,374
  • Born in Missouri: 3,328 (76.1% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 982 (22.5% of population)
    — Midwest (14.9%), Northeast (1.1%), South (3.4%), West (3.1%)
  • Born in another country: 42 (0.96% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.69%), Europe (0.09%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.18%), Oceania (0.00%)

34. Shelby County

  • Population: 5,975
  • Born in Missouri: 4,568 (76.5% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,298 (21.7% of population)
    — Midwest (13.5%), Northeast (0.7%), South (4.8%), West (2.8%)
  • Born in another country: 58 (0.97% of population)
    — Africa (0.05%) , Asia (0.13%), Europe (0.12%), Latin America (0.67%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

33. Maries County

  • Population: 8,791
  • Born in Missouri: 6,758 (76.9% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,809 (20.6% of population)
    — Midwest (8.7%), Northeast (2.3%), South (6.2%), West (3.4%)
  • Born in another country: 161 (1.83% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.56%), Europe (0.18%), Latin America (1.09%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

32. Randolph County

  • Population: 24,769
  • Born in Missouri: 19,101 (77.1% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 5,277 (21.3% of population)
    — Midwest (11.0%), Northeast (1.1%), South (4.8%), West (4.3%)
  • Born in another country: 304 (1.23% of population)
    — Africa (0.06%) , Asia (0.44%), Europe (0.41%), Latin America (0.24%), North America (0.08%), Oceania (0.00%)

31. Madison County

  • Population: 12,176
  • Born in Missouri: 9,395 (77.2% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,566 (21.1% of population)
    — Midwest (9.4%), Northeast (0.3%), South (8.1%), West (3.4%)
  • Born in another country: 149 (1.22% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.32%), Europe (0.25%), Latin America (0.65%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

30. Moniteau County

  • Population: 15,907
  • Born in Missouri: 12,283 (77.2% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 3,203 (20.1% of population)
    — Midwest (8.5%), Northeast (2.4%), South (4.5%), West (4.8%)
  • Born in another country: 213 (1.34% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.25%), Europe (0.05%), Latin America (0.99%), North America (0.05%), Oceania (0.00%)

29. Gentry County

  • Population: 6,576
  • Born in Missouri: 5,087 (77.4% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,411 (21.5% of population)
    — Midwest (12.2%), Northeast (0.7%), South (4.3%), West (4.3%)
  • Born in another country: 72 (1.09% of population)
    — Africa (0.17%) , Asia (0.56%), Europe (0.32%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.05%)

28. Warren County

  • Population: 35,090
  • Born in Missouri: 27,212 (77.5% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 7,250 (20.7% of population)
    — Midwest (9.1%), Northeast (1.4%), South (5.7%), West (4.5%)
  • Born in another country: 552 (1.57% of population)
    — Africa (0.06%) , Asia (0.25%), Europe (0.26%), Latin America (0.93%), North America (0.07%), Oceania (0.00%)

27. Stoddard County

  • Population: 29,255
  • Born in Missouri: 22,752 (77.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 6,386 (21.8% of population)
    — Midwest (7.7%), Northeast (1.2%), South (10.0%), West (2.9%)
  • Born in another country: 70 (0.24% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.05%), Europe (0.02%), Latin America (0.16%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

26. Linn County

  • Population: 12,004
  • Born in Missouri: 9,340 (77.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,534 (21.1% of population)
    — Midwest (12.7%), Northeast (1.0%), South (2.6%), West (4.8%)
  • Born in another country: 81 (0.67% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.35%), Europe (0.03%), Latin America (0.23%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.06%)

25. Cooper County

  • Population: 17,522
  • Born in Missouri: 13,644 (77.9% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 3,625 (20.7% of population)
    — Midwest (9.6%), Northeast (1.6%), South (5.9%), West (3.5%)
  • Born in another country: 148 (0.84% of population)
    — Africa (0.30%) , Asia (0.30%), Europe (0.15%), Latin America (0.09%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

24. New Madrid County

  • Population: 17,275
  • Born in Missouri: 13,453 (77.9% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 3,649 (21.1% of population)
    — Midwest (7.4%), Northeast (0.3%), South (11.8%), West (1.6%)
  • Born in another country: 95 (0.55% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.36%), Latin America (0.19%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

23. Mississippi County

  • Population: 13,328
  • Born in Missouri: 10,414 (78.1% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,735 (20.5% of population)
    — Midwest (8.4%), Northeast (0.6%), South (9.0%), West (2.4%)
  • Born in another country: 169 (1.27% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.14%), Europe (0.05%), Latin America (1.08%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

22. Ralls County

  • Population: 10,258
  • Born in Missouri: 8,017 (78.2% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,130 (20.8% of population)
    — Midwest (14.9%), Northeast (0.9%), South (3.8%), West (1.2%)
  • Born in another country: 87 (0.85% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.33%), Europe (0.19%), Latin America (0.30%), North America (0.02%), Oceania (0.00%)

21. Lafayette County

  • Population: 32,697
  • Born in Missouri: 25,598 (78.3% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 6,542 (20.0% of population)
    — Midwest (10.3%), Northeast (0.8%), South (5.9%), West (3.0%)
  • Born in another country: 510 (1.56% of population)
    — Africa (0.01%) , Asia (0.54%), Europe (0.41%), Latin America (0.57%), North America (0.03%), Oceania (0.01%)

20. Crawford County

  • Population: 23,984
  • Born in Missouri: 18,817 (78.5% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 4,761 (19.9% of population)
    — Midwest (9.7%), Northeast (0.7%), South (5.9%), West (3.5%)
  • Born in another country: 247 (1.03% of population)
    — Africa (0.04%) , Asia (0.21%), Europe (0.27%), Latin America (0.33%), North America (0.18%), Oceania (0.00%)

19. Wayne County

  • Population: 13,058
  • Born in Missouri: 10,273 (78.7% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,684 (20.6% of population)
    — Midwest (8.7%), Northeast (0.7%), South (6.9%), West (4.2%)
  • Born in another country: 101 (0.77% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.65%), Europe (0.12%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

18. Perry County

  • Population: 19,227
  • Born in Missouri: 15,153 (78.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 3,522 (18.3% of population)
    — Midwest (10.4%), Northeast (0.8%), South (4.7%), West (2.5%)
  • Born in another country: 310 (1.61% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.64%), Europe (0.18%), Latin America (0.60%), North America (0.19%), Oceania (0.00%)

17. Andrew County

  • Population: 17,554
  • Born in Missouri: 13,884 (79.1% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 3,244 (18.5% of population)
    — Midwest (11.5%), Northeast (1.0%), South (2.5%), West (3.5%)
  • Born in another country: 278 (1.58% of population)
    — Africa (0.01%) , Asia (0.72%), Europe (0.18%), Latin America (0.51%), North America (0.01%), Oceania (0.14%)

16. Audrain County

  • Population: 25,336
  • Born in Missouri: 20,043 (79.1% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 4,449 (17.6% of population)
    — Midwest (9.0%), Northeast (1.1%), South (4.5%), West (3.0%)
  • Born in another country: 498 (1.97% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.09%), Europe (0.21%), Latin America (1.59%), North America (0.07%), Oceania (0.00%)

15. Lincoln County

  • Population: 57,590
  • Born in Missouri: 45,578 (79.1% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 11,195 (19.4% of population)
    — Midwest (8.8%), Northeast (1.7%), South (6.2%), West (2.7%)
  • Born in another country: 558 (0.97% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.16%), Europe (0.27%), Latin America (0.54%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

14. Pike County

  • Population: 18,158
  • Born in Missouri: 14,374 (79.2% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 3,571 (19.7% of population)
    — Midwest (11.4%), Northeast (0.8%), South (4.0%), West (3.5%)
  • Born in another country: 104 (0.57% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.32%), Europe (0.05%), Latin America (0.07%), North America (0.13%), Oceania (0.00%)

13. St. Francois County

  • Population: 66,653
  • Born in Missouri: 52,832 (79.3% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 12,505 (18.8% of population)
    — Midwest (6.9%), Northeast (1.4%), South (7.0%), West (3.5%)
  • Born in another country: 1,033 (1.55% of population)
    — Africa (0.51%) , Asia (0.36%), Europe (0.22%), Latin America (0.44%), North America (0.02%), Oceania (0.00%)

12. Howard County

  • Population: 10,022
  • Born in Missouri: 7,966 (79.5% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,937 (19.3% of population)
    — Midwest (7.9%), Northeast (2.3%), South (4.4%), West (4.7%)
  • Born in another country: 58 (0.58% of population)
    — Africa (0.06%) , Asia (0.34%), Europe (0.12%), Latin America (0.06%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

11. Bollinger County

  • Population: 12,181
  • Born in Missouri: 9,684 (79.5% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,391 (19.6% of population)
    — Midwest (9.8%), Northeast (0.9%), South (6.5%), West (2.3%)
  • Born in another country: 33 (0.27% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.27%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)You may also like: Colleges with the best ROI in Missouri

10. Franklin County

  • Population: 103,629
  • Born in Missouri: 82,422 (79.5% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 19,200 (18.5% of population)
    — Midwest (7.9%), Northeast (1.4%), South (6.5%), West (2.8%)
  • Born in another country: 1,594 (1.54% of population)
    — Africa (0.04%) , Asia (0.41%), Europe (0.75%), Latin America (0.29%), North America (0.06%), Oceania (0.00%)

9. Jefferson County

  • Population: 224,777
  • Born in Missouri: 179,458 (79.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 39,814 (17.7% of population)
    — Midwest (8.4%), Northeast (1.5%), South (5.2%), West (2.7%)
  • Born in another country: 4,269 (1.90% of population)
    — Africa (0.08%) , Asia (0.57%), Europe (0.88%), Latin America (0.31%), North America (0.05%), Oceania (0.01%)

8. Iron County

  • Population: 10,150
  • Born in Missouri: 8,219 (81.0% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,770 (17.4% of population)
    — Midwest (6.6%), Northeast (0.6%), South (6.1%), West (4.1%)
  • Born in another country: 129 (1.27% of population)
    — Africa (0.02%) , Asia (0.47%), Europe (0.18%), Latin America (0.60%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

7. Montgomery County

  • Population: 11,414
  • Born in Missouri: 9,270 (81.2% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,950 (17.1% of population)
    — Midwest (7.9%), Northeast (0.9%), South (5.4%), West (2.9%)
  • Born in another country: 153 (1.34% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.09%), Europe (0.18%), Latin America (1.08%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

6. Washington County

  • Population: 24,819
  • Born in Missouri: 20,261 (81.6% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 4,360 (17.6% of population)
    — Midwest (7.9%), Northeast (0.7%), South (5.1%), West (3.8%)
  • Born in another country: 143 (0.58% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.08%), Europe (0.17%), Latin America (0.02%), North America (0.19%), Oceania (0.12%)

5. Gasconade County

  • Population: 14,673
  • Born in Missouri: 12,002 (81.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,370 (16.2% of population)
    — Midwest (6.0%), Northeast (1.5%), South (4.4%), West (4.3%)
  • Born in another country: 212 (1.44% of population)
    — Africa (0.10%) , Asia (0.83%), Europe (0.31%), Latin America (0.18%), North America (0.03%), Oceania (0.00%)

4. Carroll County

  • Population: 8,723
  • Born in Missouri: 7,389 (84.7% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,223 (14.0% of population)
    — Midwest (7.1%), Northeast (0.6%), South (3.5%), West (2.9%)
  • Born in another country: 98 (1.12% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.24%), Europe (0.48%), Latin America (0.22%), North America (0.18%), Oceania (0.00%)

3. Ste. Genevieve County

  • Population: 17,887
  • Born in Missouri: 15,163 (84.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 2,451 (13.7% of population)
    — Midwest (7.4%), Northeast (0.4%), South (4.8%), West (1.1%)
  • Born in another country: 161 (0.90% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.35%), Europe (0.16%), Latin America (0.40%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

2. Chariton County

  • Population: 7,449
  • Born in Missouri: 6,389 (85.8% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 960 (12.9% of population)
    — Midwest (7.1%), Northeast (0.7%), South (2.6%), West (2.6%)
  • Born in another country: 68 (0.91% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.39%), Latin America (0.52%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

1. Osage County

  • Population: 13,613
  • Born in Missouri: 12,064 (88.6% of population)
  • Born in a different state: 1,496 (11.0% of population)
    — Midwest (5.3%), Northeast (0.5%), South (3.6%), West (1.7%)
  • Born in another country: 20 (0.15% of population)
    — Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.08%), Latin America (0.07%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)