Aerial view of Saint Louis
Patrick Ishmael

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that while the St. Louis region grew marginally over the last year, St. Louis City nonetheless lost residents again and continued its decades-long downward trajectory in population. St. Louis City now sits at 315,700 people, down from 319,257 at the 2010 Census and a far cry from the its 1950 population of over 850,000.

But while the metropolitan area did see a net increase in population, the news in context isn't all that great. (Emphasis mine)

St. Louis, which held steady at about 2.81 million people, is now the 20th-largest region in the U.S., having been leapfrogged by the surging Denver metro area, which gained an estimated 58,000 residents just last year.

The St. Louis region has added an estimated 24,000 people since 2010. Among the 25 largest metro areas, only Detroit has added fewer people. More people have left the region than moved in during the past five years, but the population was pushed upward because of births.

We have written at length about the importance of strong cities to our local economies. When a region's economic anchor begins to sink, the rest of the region suffers as well, and that's where things stand in St. Louis. From taxes to incentives to education and everything in between, the ship of state that is St. Louis City is running ashore. Rather than stay the course, it's time for a course correction. It's time, finally, for reforms.

About the Author

Patrick Ishmael

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.