Community Profile: Branson, Missouri
By Cole Currier
This “little” Ozarks town is known worldwide as a family tourist destination with theme parks, shopping, shows, and attractions. There’s a lot more to Branson, though. My first trip to Branson was in 1996, and we immediately fell in love. The warmth of the people, the beauty of the hills, and the fun atmosphere of this community made us decide to call Branson home.

Living in Branson
Some wonder what it’s like to “fight the traffic” of Branson when you’re a resident… The truth is, as most residents will tell you, we don’t have to fight traffic on a regular basis. Many of the day-to-day trips to school, work, and shopping are to areas that are away from the busy tourist districts. Residents of Branson enjoy small-town atmosphere with amenities rarely found in a small town like world-class shopping, numerous dining options, and major retail outlets. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy our community parks, walking trails, biking trails, and of course, the area lakes. Lake Taneycomo, Bull Shoals Lake, and Table Rock Lake are all within a short distance of Branson and offer a variety of great water sports, sightseeing, and fishing. My wife, Dana, and I absolutely love raising our two children in Branson. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

The award-winning Branson School District is one of the finest anywhere. The quality of facilities, teachers, and leadership is well recognized throughout the area. Academic achievement at Branson Schools continually exceeds state and national standards, and their focus of building character in students is truly unique. My children attend Branson Public Schools, and we are thrilled with the experience we’ve had. As a Branson High School Alumnus, I, too can attest to the quality of education offered at Branson.

In addition, there are excellent post-secondary education opportunities in the area. College of the Ozarks is a unique institution which is nationally recognized for their unique model where students do not pay tuition. Ozarks Technical Community College also offers programs at their Branson/Hollister campus. In addition, Missouri State University, my alma mater, is located just a short drive away – about 45 minutes north to Springfield.

While the population of Branson is just over 10,500, it is the host to approximately 7 million visitors each year. The mix of small-town community and big-city amenities is rare. Following is a complete demographic profile (source: Wikipedia):

As of the 2010 census, there were 10,520 people, 4,645 households, and 2,191 families residing in the city. The population density was 509.9 people per square mile. There were 8,599 housing units at an average density of 416.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 89.0% White, 2.0% African American, 0.90% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.8% of the population.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 86.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,997, and the median income for a family was $43,145. Males had a median income of $31,769 versus $21,223 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,461. 12.1% of the population and 9.7% of families were below the poverty line. 15.6% of those under the age of 18 and 17.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

In addition to the many small-town retailers and boutiques, Branson offers a number of major retailers, including:

  • Wal-Mart
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • K-Mart
  • Kohl’s
  • Belk Department Store
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s (in Hollister – our sister community)
  • TJ Maxx
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Petco
  • Books-A-Million
  • Staples

My Favorite Branson “Hot Spots”:
Don’t be surprised if you run into my wife, Dana, and me at Cantina Laredo down at Branson Landing. It’s one of the best restaurants in town, and we love sitting on their patio overlooking lake Taneycomo. Also, you’ve GOT to go in for a cheeseburger basket at Billy Bob’s Dairyland on the strip! Don & Nancy have been making the best burgers in town for years.

Choose a price range to browse Branson homes for sale:

God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business. Proverbs 16:11 (MSG)