Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Disappearing U.S. city of the day: St. Louis, Missouri

What about St. Louis's 40 previous years of population decline?  The relative decline of St. Louis is therefore not simply, or even primarily, a story of deindustrialization. The larger explanation involves how presidents and lawmakers in both parties, influenced by a handful of economists and legal scholars, quietly altered federal competition policies, antitrust laws and enforcement measures over a period of 30 years. These changes also robbed the metro area of a vibrant economy, and of hundreds of locally based companies.  [emphasis added]
This economic uprooting, still all but unaddressed by today’s politicians or presidential candidates, accounts for much of the relative stagnation of other middle American communities, and for much of the anger roiling voters this election cycle.
St. Louis's population peaked in 1950 at 856,796.  Its 2017 estimated population is 308,626 -- a drop of 527,870, or 64%.

Source:  Wikipedia

African-Americans comprised 17.9% of St. Louis's population in 1950.

Related reading: 
Historian highlights racial divide that haunts St. Louis.  (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/13/2016)
Written by University of Iowa historian Colin Gordon in 2008, the book examines the roots of the decline of population in St. Louis over the past several decades, from its height as a booming metropolis to its status as a struggling Rust Belt city suffering from decades of white flight to the suburbs.

No city is an island.  The current estimated population of the St. Louis metropolitan area is 2,878,108 which is up 0.9% from 2010.

The disappearing cities:
Baltimore, Maryland.  (12/31/2018)
Detroit, Michigan.  (1/1/2019)

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