MOUNT PLEASANT, IA – Henry County, and more specifically Mount Pleasant, was one of the big winners in the recently announced 2020 Census Data.  The census numbers show Henry County experienced a 1.7 percent growth, with the city of Mount Pleasant seeing a 7 percent increase.

“It’s so exciting to be one of the 30 counties in Iowa that are growing. Especially considering we are one of the very few rural counties to grow”, said Kristi Perry, Executive Vice President of the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance.

Mount Pleasant was one of the highest ranked cities above 5,000 which is outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Mount Pleasant grew from 8,668 people in 2010 to 9,274 in the 2020 census. Much of that growth is directly attributed to the growth at Iowa Wesleyan University.

“Iowa Wesleyan University has experienced steady and strategic enrollment growth for the past five years.  Between 2015 and 2020, we experienced an enrollment headcount increase of more than 56%.  We are delighted to see how this growth has impacted the census numbers for our community,” said Chris Plunkett, Iowa Wesleyan University President.  “Once again, we are expecting record-breaking enrollment for our new fall 2021 students and total University headcount.  We will continue to do our part to help support the growth of the rural communities in Southeast Iowa.”

Another important factor in the growth of Mount Pleasant is the private/public partnerships designed to improve housing stock. Back in 2014, a Housing Needs Assessment gave Mount Pleasant the direction needed to address their shortfall.  Projects such as Ashford Park, Threshers Meadows, Bell Subdivision, and Robin Run are just a few examples of new single-family housing. In addition to that, projects like Heather Branch Estates and a strong interest in downtown upper story housing make Mount Pleasant a very appealing community.

Salem and New London were other communities in Henry County showing a positive population growth in this census. As for the state, nearly 3.2 million people now live in Iowa, a 4.7 percent increase from 2010.

The Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission is part of the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance which also includes the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Mount Pleasant and Henry County Tourism.