On May 4th, 2003, a large, destructive tornado severely damaged the city of Stockton. After decimating the historic business district and damaging or destroying over 250 homes the tornado proceeded east through the countryside. The storm also caused the deaths of three Stockton residents and injuries of numerous others. The Stockton tornado began in Vernon County, Missouri, near Nevada, Missouri and moved eastward through Cedar and Polk counties before dissipating east of the Dallas County line. Since then, the city has been working with residents and both federal and state authorities to develop a plan to rebuild the downtown business district and improve upon other public facilities such as a new park and community center. Pierce City, Missouri was also severely damaged by a similar storm in which five residents lost their lives. The city has a similar plan for recovery.
There were 814 households out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.8% were non-families. 38.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 20.7% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 26.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,353, and the median income for a family was $34,427. Males had a median income of $22,574 versus $19,688 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,540. About 7.0% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.0% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.