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Old 02-07-2014, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,528 posts, read 9,625,554 times
Reputation: 5100

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It's obvious St. Louis is a rust belt city, and located in the midwest, not the most desirable region of the country. But St. Louis metro is a hot area of all sorts of innovative start up companies, Fortune 500 companies, leading medical centers, universities, tourism, commerce, development, etc.

St. Louis really isn't known as Detroit or even Cleveland, it's seen as a lot better off. Yet how do we explain that St. Louis has lost over 500,000 people over the course of 50 years? And it continues to shrink? Even St. Louis county lost population in the last census.

Forgive me, I am not a St. Louis native, nor have I ever lived there, but the city fascinates me and I am curious on why it continues to shed population. I found this article slightly disturbing about the future of the city of St. Louis.

Census shows city is 'hollowing out' : News
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:33 PM
 
1,710 posts, read 1,774,865 times
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While I think of a really deep and well-thought-out response, can I point out the fact that the article you posted is about 3 years old? It's not that long ago but things have definitely changed since then.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,528 posts, read 9,625,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
While I think of a really deep and well-thought-out response, can I point out the fact that the article you posted is about 3 years old? It's not that long ago but things have definitely changed since then.
Sure, but the most recent figures are the 2010 census which is 4 years old now. Are you suggesting St. Louis has actually gained population in the past 4 years?
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:40 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
2,569 posts, read 2,427,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
Sure, but the most recent figures are the 2010 census which is 4 years old now. Are you suggesting St. Louis has actually gained population in the past 4 years?
St. Louis is still shrinking, but the County has returned to growth, I believe.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
2,569 posts, read 2,427,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
It's obvious St. Louis is a rust belt city, and located in the midwest, not the most desirable region of the country. But St. Louis metro is a hot area of all sorts of innovative start up companies, Fortune 500 companies, leading medical centers, universities, tourism, commerce, development, etc.

St. Louis really isn't known as Detroit or even Cleveland, it's seen as a lot better off. Yet how do we explain that St. Louis has lost over 500,000 people over the course of 50 years? And it continues to shrink? Even St. Louis county lost population in the last census.

Forgive me, I am not a St. Louis native, nor have I ever lived there, but the city fascinates me and I am curious on why it continues to shed population. I found this article slightly disturbing about the future of the city of St. Louis.

Census shows city is 'hollowing out' : News
In regards to the city itself, I think you'll find that St. Louis hasn't hit the tipping point where it's attracting enough young people to the city to offset the number of people who are leaving. St. Louis has made a great deal of progress in many of its neighborhoods, especially downtown, but there are still people leaving north St. Louis in droves, and the population decreased in the southern parts of St. Louis due to gentrification. The neighborhoods might have gotten better, but that doesn't mean more people are living there just yet. Thankfully the population loss has slowed though.

As for the County, I'd wager that a lot of that has to do with racism. I'm probably going to get my head bitten off for this, but there are still quite a lot of white people in Greater St. Louis who will, and do, move out once black people start moving in to their neighborhoods. The article you posted even stated that St. Louis County's black population grew and that the white population declined. Similar things are going on in towns in the Metro East, but their loss in white population is made up for by a higher increase in their black population, so the towns are still growing overall.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:06 PM
 
1,710 posts, read 1,774,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
Sure, but the most recent figures are the 2010 census which is 4 years old now. Are you suggesting St. Louis has actually gained population in the past 4 years?
Absolutely not, but I am saying that the article is in response to data from the 2010 census, which is a recording of population of the prior 10 years. Conditions have certainly changed since any point in those ten years to now, possibly enough to lower the population bleed to an insignificant amount. We're talking about St Louis' future growth/shrinkage rates, not past ones (the one between 2000-2010). I'd have to guess that population loss at this point is slowing down to a crawl; I really don't think it can get that much lower, as people aren't leaving South St. Louis in droves and the north side seems to have already hit rock bottom in terms of population loss (it's totally abandoned, I doubt it can get much lower). Of course Im probably wrong here, but I feel like this is the case.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,528 posts, read 9,625,554 times
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Is Northern St. Louis really that bad? You use rock bottom to describe it, that sounds awful. I know every city has its bad sides, but that area sounds beyond gone by the way you are describing it.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:59 PM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 5,035,337 times
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St Louis has two things going against it from a population perspective.
One, St Louis has a low birth rate. Top heavy and bottom heavy age structures with not enough people starting young families. This is common throughout the US, but exacerbated in the St Louis region. Our crude birth rates are nearly 10% below the national average (but... those rates are increasing, while the rest of the country is continuing to decrease). On top of that, we have below average fertility rates (only takes into account females age 15-44).

Meanwhile, our crude death rate is way above national averages, especially for African-Americans where the crude death rate is nearly 40% higher than national averages (combination of crime and aging population together, but mostly aging population). But our death rate is going down too!


Two, St Louis is not an international migration destination. Many growing cities are only growing because in migration, both domestic and international. St Louis does okay on domestic migration actually, but is way behind on international migration. (And sadly, a lot of this is due to federal policy on settlement of refugees.)
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:42 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
1,221 posts, read 2,381,061 times
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A lot of people say it's because of the crime and the schools which, while not untrue, is really a chicken and egg argument. The schools wouldn't have suffered so much and the crime rate wouldn't have risen so high if the middle class hadn't abandoned the city a generation or two ago. Now it's a vicious cycle: Middle class abandons the city > schools slide and crime increases > city has a hard time attracting the middle class back because of bad schools and high crime. Granted, crime is more of an issue in some parts of the city than others, but the schools are an issue all over. The city's best hope is to keep up the grassroots revitalization of neighborhoods and benefit from the demographic shifts that are about to hand the suburbs their gonads.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:09 PM
 
1,710 posts, read 1,774,865 times
Reputation: 1849
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
Is Northern St. Louis really that bad? You use rock bottom to describe it, that sounds awful. I know every city has its bad sides, but that area sounds beyond gone by the way you are describing it.
Parts are doing ok...

https://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=...2,180.1,,0,1.6

Then there are parts that aren't so great...

https://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=...248.37,,0,-1.4

And then there's this.

https://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=...=12,31.67,,0,0

It seems that there's less blight and more people the further away you are from downtown on the North side. There's still a hell of a lot of blight in that area though. But I do not think that the area is "long gone"-though it has a long way to go, it's ripe for redevelopment, which people like Paul McKee (with his NorthSide Regeneration Project) are looking to take advantage of. Plus, the communities are more than capable of restoring themselves when they unite-get some info on Old North St. Louis (and the ONSL project) for a great example of such a grassroots movement.

If you want to see "long gone," cross the river. I have hope for EStL but realistically, it's burrowing itself below rock bottom with no way out.
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