Data for the Next

By Kenneth Surbrugg, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Missouri Southern State University

“Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid of only standing still.” – Proverb

Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial firms are always looking for the “next.” The next product or service, the next market, the next customer, the next business.

In looking for the next, questions come up that need answers, so a decision must be made. Some answers and decisions require a little more data for support than others. Depending on the level of importance or the input from others, data can be used to build a case for or against a decision.

One source of data used by the Missouri Small Business Development Center at Missouri Southern State University is ESRI, an international supplier of geographic information system software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications. ESRI is a global company that builds mapping and spatial analytics software used by a wide variety of organizations all over the world ( ESRI is one source of data that can help you make better informed decisions.

What kind of data does ESRI provide? The following some interesting figures from ESRI for both Jasper and Newton counties:


  • 2010 Population (all ages): 175,518
  • 2026 Projected population (all ages): 187,520
  • 2021 Median age: 38
  • 2021 Percentage of the population over the age of 25 that has a Bachelor degree: 16.4

Civilian (not in military) population (ages 16+)

  • 2021 Population: 95,238
  • 2021 Percentage employed: 94.9%
  • 2021 Percentage employed in the service industry: 43.3%
  • 2021 Percentage employed in the manufacturing industry: 16.4%

2026 ESRI Estimates:

  • 2026 Projected per capita income: $27,662
  • 2026 Median home value: $169,358
  • 2026 Forecast demand for food: $532,838,000

According to ESRI, it is estimated that over the last 30 days (as of July 1, 2021), the number of adults or households:

  • 65.6% used Facebook
  • 51.7% used YouTube
  • 26.7% used Instagram
  • 21.7% used Snapchat
  • 21.7% used Pinterest

That is a lot of data to consider, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Are you looking to launch a new business and need to find out some basic demographic information? ESRI can help. Are you looking to expand into a new market and need to figure out some demographic and psychographic information? ESRI can help. Exploring opportunities and need to know more about the area? ESRI can help.

ESRI contains many different reports that entrepreneurs can use to make better informed decisions. Of course, there are other data sources to explore and consider, but ESRI is a reputable source to support you on your quest for the next.

As you find yourself looking for this kind of data, please consider the Missouri Small Business Development Center at Missouri Southern. The office can be contacted at

For a current list of training events, please visit our website: and click on “View Events”.

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