St. Louis has experienced a decline in its population over the past few decades. Like many other older industrial cities in the United States, St. Louis faced challenges related to deindustrialization, suburbanization, and economic shifts that led to population outflows. Some key factors contributing to the population decline include the loss of manufacturing jobs, racial segregation, crime rates, and issues related to education and poverty.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of St. Louis City peaked at around 856,796 residents in 1950. However, since then, the population has been gradually decreasing. As of the 2020 Census, the estimated population of St. Louis City was 301,587 residents, representing a significant decline over several decades.
It’s important to note that while the population of the city has declined, the broader St. Louis metropolitan area, which includes both the city and surrounding counties, has experienced more modest population growth. Many people have chosen to live in the suburbs and commute to the city for work or other activities.
Efforts have been made to revitalize St. Louis, including initiatives to attract businesses, invest in infrastructure, and improve educational opportunities. However, population loss remains a challenge, and addressing the underlying factors contributing to the decline continues to be a priority for the city’s leaders.
How have other rustbelt cities responded to population issues?
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: The population of Pittsburgh was around 676,806 in 1950. The city experienced its lowest population point in recent decades in 2010 when it dipped to approximately 305,704 residents. Since then, the city has seen a modest increase, and as of the most recent estimates, the population stands at approximately 300,286 residents.
- Columbus, Ohio: In 1950, the population of Columbus was approximately 375,901. The city experienced its lowest population point in recent decades in 1980 when it was around 564,871 residents. Since then, Columbus has witnessed significant growth, and as of the latest estimates, the population stands at around 898,553 residents.
- Indianapolis, Indiana: The population of Indianapolis was about 427,173 in 1950. The city experienced its lowest population point in recent decades in 1990 when it was approximately 731,327 residents. Since then, Indianapolis has seen steady growth, and recent estimates indicate a population of around 900,429 residents.
- Grand Rapids, Michigan: In 1950, the population of Grand Rapids was around 164,292. The city experienced its lowest population point in recent decades in 1990 when it dipped to approximately 189,126 residents. Since then, Grand Rapids has witnessed growth, and as of the most recent estimates, the population stands at approximately 209,050 residents.
- Buffalo, New York: The population of Buffalo in 1950 was approximately 580,132. The city experienced its lowest population point in recent decades in 2010 when it declined to around 261,310 residents. Since then, Buffalo has seen a slight decrease in population, and recent estimates suggest a population of around 255,284 residents.