The Population Increase of St Louis during past 9 years was less than one-tenth of U.S. population growth

While we are in the midst of the 2020 census, the U.S. Census Bureau released its population growth estimates for metropolitan statistical areas (MSA’s) in the U.S. which revealed the St Louis MSA  saw a population increase of just 0.6% from 2010 through 2019.  As the table below shows, the population of the St Louis MSA in 2010 was 2,787,751 and in 2019 it was 2,803,228, an increase of 15,477 people during the 9-year period or 0.6%.  Overall, the United States saw a population increase of 6.3% during the same period and the population of MSAs across the country saw an increase of 7.5%.  In terms of the rate of population increase for MSAs from 2010-2019, St Louis ranked 283rd out of 384 MSA’s.

St Louis MSA Population Change 2010-2019

St Louis MSA Population Change 2010-2019

St Louis Area Population Growth Nearly Flat But Asians and Males on The Rise

The St Louis 5-county core had a total population of 2,027,996 in 2017, up from 2,000,405 in 2010.  The population increase os 27,591 represents a very modest population increase of just 1.36% for the 7-year period, according to the latest date from the U.S. Census Bureau.  As the table below shows, the number of Asian people in St Louis grew by 11,913 during the period, an amount equal to 43% of the total St Louis population growth.

The St Louis 5-county core consists of the city of St Louis and the counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin.  As shown below, three of the five counties experienced a growth in population from 2010 to 2017 with St Charles having the greatest growth at over 8.5%.  The city of St Louis experienced the largest population decline with a loss of about 3.5% of its population during the 7-year period.

Another interesting tidbit in the data below is the growth in the male population in the St Louis 5-county core.  During this period, the male population increased by 1.6% while the female population increased just 1.14%.  While it may seem that significant, that is a 40% higher growth rate for males.

Where St Louis Area Homeowners Are Moving

The St Louis metro area has seen some population growth over the last few decades but not nearly as much as many other areas.  From 1975 until last year, the population of the St Louis MSA increased 12.3% from 2,500,100 in 1975 to 2,807,338 in 2017.  Of the major counties in Missouri that make up the St Louis MSA, St Charles County gained the most population increasing 248% during the same period.  As the table below shows, 4 of the 5 major counties covered saw an increase in population from 1975 to 2017, although St Louis County’s increase was a rather lackluster 3.3%.  Even St Louis County’s modest increase looks good when compared with the city of St Louis that lost 40% of its population during the period.

City of St Louis’ loss is St Charles County gain…

As the table below illustrates, St Charles County gained 281,700 people from 1975 through 2017 while the city of St Louis lost 205,474.  Granted, not everyone that left the city of St Louis moved to St Charles County, but there is a lot of “shuffling of the population” that occurs here with movement from one area to another within St Louis as the population shifts.  As a result, we end up with things such as the triple-digit increase in population in St Charles County and the city of St Louis losing nearly half of its population, while the overall metro area just had a modest gain.

How we compare to others…

To see how St Louis fared with other similar-sized areas, I checked the population history for the Davidson County Tennessee (Nashville) and Mecklenburg County North Carolina (Charlotte).  Below is what I found:

  • Davidson County TN49.5% population growth from 1975 to 2017 increasing from 462,600 to 691,243.
  • Mecklenburg County  NC185% population growth during the same period increasing from 377,400 to 1,076,837

So, while smaller, St Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin County’s population growth outpaced Davidson County and just St Charles County managed to outperform Mecklenburg County.

In the coming days, I’ll take a look at how population change has affected home prices and sales.

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St Louis Population – 1975 – 2017

(click on the table below for live charts showing complete data for each area)

St Louis Population - 1975 - 2017


St Louis Population Shifting Outward

Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2016 population estimates revealing that the city of St Louis continues to lose residents while outlying counties like St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin grow and St Louis county remains relatively stagnant.

As the table below shows, over the past 6 years the city of St Louis population declined almost 2.5% while St Charles County grew by nearly 8.5%.  Both St Charles County and Jefferson County have enjoyed annual growth in population since 2010 while Franklin County grew every year but one.  St Louis County has followed a different pattern than the rest with 3 years of growth, a small decline in 2014, 2015 went back to 2013 levels nearly then 2016 gave up everything gained in the prior years falling back to a population lower than in 2010.  St Louis city has continued to decline in population year after year for the periods shown.

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St Louis Population Trends 2010-2016

St Louis Population Trends 2010-2016

St Louis Population Continues To Shift West

St Louis PopulationSt Louis did not make the list of the 15 fastest growing large cities just released by the U.S. Census Bureau and, in fact, no city in Missouri made the list.  The list was based upon the 2012 population estimates just released (literally about 1 minute ago) which showed, from 2011 – 2012, the State of Missouri barely had any population growth (0.22 percent).  In the St Louis area, as the table below shows which compares the 2010 population for cities and counties throughout the St Louis area to the 2011 and newly released 2012 estimates,  the St Louis population continues a trend started years ago of shifting to the west.  The city of St Louis lost population again in 2012 while neighboring counties to the west, namely St Louis County and St Charles County, gained population.  Within St Louis County there was also a shift to the west in general with many north county cities such as  and several mid county cities losing population while many west county cities saw a population increase. Continue reading “St Louis Population Continues To Shift West