St Louis Population 2017

St. Louis has a population estimated at 317,000 in the city limits, but the Greater St. Louis area is the 19th largest metro area in the US with a population of 2.85 million. St. Louis enjoyed its highest population during the 1950's, when it was home to 857,000 people and ranked 8th in the country. The city was still the largest in Missouri in 1980, but it has since been dwarved by Kansas City. St. Louis has now fallen to its lowest population in more than 100 years, despite signs that the negative growth had been reversed.

St Louis Population History

The area that eventually became St. Louis was a center for Native American Mississippian culture and home to several earthwork mounds, hence the city's early nickname, the Mound City. European exploration was first documented in 1673, and the area was claimed for France 5 years later by La Salle.

The earliest European settlements were built in the 1690's through the early 1700's, and migrants from French villages became moving to the area. When France lost to the British in North America in 1764, St. Louis was founded based on a fur trade economy.

St. Louis was transferred to the Republic of France in 1800 before being sold to the US three years later. Steamboats began arriving in the city in 1818, which improved its connection with other markets. Missouri was admitted to the Union in 1821, at which time slavery was legal here, and St. Louis was incorporated a year later.

The population of St. Louis grew fairly quickly from the 1840s through the 1860s when immigrants from Germany and Ireland began arriving in large numbers. By 1850, the city was more populous than New Orleans.

St. Louis was a slowly growing city until the Civil War, when immigration and industrialization sparked a major population boom. The city continued growing rapidly until it reached a peak of 856,000 in 1950, at which point it was 82% White and 17.9% African American.

After World War II ended, the city began losing people to the suburbs thanks to increasing demands for housing and easier commutes and then white flight. St. Louis has now lost over 63% of its population since 1950, which is the highest percent of any major US city.

St Louis Demographics

According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of St. Louis was:

  • African American: 49.2%
  • White: 43.9% (non-Hispanic: 42.2%)
  • Asian: 2.9%
  • Native American and Alaska Native: 0.3%
  • Two or more races: 2.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 3.5%

The African American population of St. Louis is heavily concentrated in the northern area of the city, with the area north of Delmar being 94% black compared to 26% in the south side. The largest Asian ethnic groups include Vietnamese (0.9%), Chinese (0.6%) and Asian Indians (0.5%), with the Vietnamese community concentrated in the Dutchtown neighborhood and the Chinese community in the Central West End.

The largest Latino group comes from Mexico and accounts for 2.2% of the total population of the city. The Mexican community is concentrated most heavily in the Dutchtown, Garvois Park and Benton Park West neighborhoods.

It's estimated that St. Louis is home to about 70,000 Bosnians, which is the largest population outside of Bosnia. St. Louis is also home to the only Bosnian-language newspaper in the country.

St Louis Population Growth

The population growth of St. Louis has fallen flat and even gone negative over the last few years. From 2012 to 2013, the city's population grew just 0.2%, but the metropolitan area lost about 100,000 residents. It won't be surprising if the population even drops below 300,000 by the next census in 2020.

Year Population Change
2015 315,685 -1.10%
2010 319,294 -8.30%
2000 348,189 -12.20%
1990 396,685 -12.40%
1980 452,801 -27.20%
1970 622,236 -17.00%
1960 750,026 -12.50%
1950 856,796 5.00%
1940 816,048 -0.70%
1930 821,960 6.30%
1920 772,897 12.50%
1910 687,029 19.40%
1900 575,238 27.30%
1890 451,770 28.90%
1880 350,518 12.80%
1870 310,864 93.40%
1860 160,773 106.50%
1850 77,860 372.80%
1840 16,469 230.90%
1830 4,977 0.00%

St Louis Population in 2017 Source: Spyder Monkey

St Louis Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 144,883 45.46%
Black or African American 153,355 48.11%
American Indian and Alaska Native 705 0.22%
Asian 8,887 2.79%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 112 0.04%
Some Other Race 2,393 0.75%
Two or More Races 8,392 2.63%

Population Pyramid

St Louis Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 175,591
Owner-Occupied Units 61,266
Renter-Occupied Units 78,289
Median Home Value $120,400
Median Rent $748
Vacancy Rate 20.5%
Houses With Mortgage 41,209
Houses Without Mortgage 20,057
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 4.7

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in St Louis for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 8% and the labor force participation rate is 64.8%.

St Louis Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.2
Average Family Size 3.19
Married Couple Families 34,092
Male Householder (no wife) Families 5,714
Female Householder (no husband) Families 24,949
Non Family Households
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex) 6.3%
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex) 0.9%