People and Culture of St. Louis

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City Population [1]

1830 4,977
1840 16,469
1850 77,860
1860 160,773
1870 310,864
1880 350,518
1890 451,770
1900 575,238
1910 687,029
1920 772,897
1930 821,960
1940 816,048
1950 856,796
1960 750,026
1970 622,236
1980 453,085
1990 396,685
2000 348,189
2005 est. 352,572

Social changes in the twentieth century influenced radically the sorts of people who live in St. Louis now. From 1810, the date of the first Federal census, to 1880, the population totals include with the city of St. Louis the population of St. Louis County, which in 1880 was separately enumerated at 31,888 people.

In 1910, 687,029 people lived in the city. 125,706 foreign-born people were residents in 1910. 47,765 of those persons were natives of the German Empire. In 1910, 11.3 per cent of the foreign-born people were of Irish nativity, 4.1 percent of English, 12.3 of Russian, 6 of Italian, and 8.8 of Austrian. 43,960 African Americans composed 6.4 % of the total population.

Like other large American cities, St. Louis experienced a large population shift to the suburbs in the twentieth century; first because of increased demand for new housing following the Second World War, and later in response to demographic changes, whether real or perceived, in existing neighborhoods.

Populations of city and county: 1810, 5,667; 1820, 10,049; 1830, 14,145; 1840, 35,979; 1850, 104,978; 1860, 190,524; 1870, 351,189.


As of the census of 2000, there were 348,189 people, 147,076 households, and 76,920 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,622.9/mi². There were 176,354 housing units at an average density of 2,847.9/mi². The racial makeup of the city was 51.20% African American, 43.85% White, 1.98% Asian, 0.27 % Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. 2.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Historically, North St. Louis City has been primarily African American while South St. Louis City has been primarily White. This has changed in recent years as large portions of North St. Louis City have been depopulated, with African-American residents moving either south or to surrounding counties.

There are 147,076 households, out of which 25.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.2% were married couples living together, 21.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.7% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,156, and the median income for a family was $32,585. Males had a median income of $30,106 versus $24,987 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,108. 24.6% of the population and 20.8% of families were below the poverty line. 36.4% of those under the age of 18 and 17.4% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


See Local Cuisine for a full list.

Museums and Other Points of Interest

There are several museums and attractions in the city. The City Museum offers a variety of interesting exhibits, including several large caves and a huge outdoor playground. It also serves as a meeting point for St. Louis' young arts scene. The Eugene Field House, located in downtown St. Louis, is a museum dedicated to the distinguished children's author. The Missouri History Museum presents exhibits and programs on a variety of topics including the 1904 World's Fair, and a comprehensive exhibit on Lewis and Clark's voyage exploring the Louisiana Purchase.

The Fox Theatre, originally one of many movie theatres along Grand Boulevard, is now a newly restored theatre featuring a Byzantine facade and Oriental decor. The Fox Theatre presents a Broadway Series in addition to concerts.

View of the Arch from the Old Cathedral.

There are several notable churches in the city, including the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis (New Cathedral), a large Roman Catholic cathedral designed in the Byzantine and Romanesque styles. The interior is decorated with lovely mosaics, the largest mosaic collection in the world. The Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (1834), also known as the "Old Cathedral," is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi River. The Old Cathedral is located adjacent to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

The Hill is an historically Italian neighborhood where many of the area's best Italian restaurants can be found. The Hill was the home of Yogi Berra and many other noted baseball players. The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum is located near Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis.

Laclede's Landing, located on the Mississippi Riverfront directly north of the historic Eads Bridge, is popular for its restaurants and nightclubs. St. Louis also possesses several distinct examples of 18th and 19th century architecture, such as the Soulard neighborhood (1779-1842), the Chatillon-de Menil House (1848), the Bellefontaine Cemetery (1850), the Robert G. Campbell House (1852), the Old Courthouse (1845-62), the original Anheuser-Busch Brewery (1860), and two of Louis Sullivan's early skyscrapers, the Wainwright Building (1890-91) and the Union Trust Building.

The Lemp Mansion, home of the fated Lemp family which had multiple suicides, is considered one of the most haunted places in the nation.

There are also several notable museums in surrounding cities. The Delmar Loop, located in University City, just west of the St. Louis city line, is a popular entertainment, cultural and restaurant district. The Butterfly House is located in western St. Louis County.

The Museum of Transportation is located in Kirkwood, a suburb in southwestern St. Louis County. Many large steam locomotives, classic cars, and even a boat are some of the spectacles.

Six Flags St. Louis, known as "Six Flags over Mid-America" when it opened in 1971, is an amusement park located in Eureka, in far west St. Louis County. It is one of the original Six Flags.

St. Charles, is the seat of St. Charles County and first capital of the state of Missouri.

Cahokia Mounds, located near Collinsville, Illinois, holds the ruins of a city of the ancient Mississippian aboriginal culture. Similar mounds within St. Louis, used as construction fill in the 1800s, gave the city one of its nicknames, "Mound City".

Magic House, a children's hands-on exploration museum, and Worldways Children's Museum, an international children's cultural museum, are both located in Kirkwood.

Parks and Outdoor Attractions

Old footbridge in Forest Park.

The city operates 105 parks that serve as gathering spots for neighbors to meet, and contains playgrounds, areas for summer concerts, picnics, baseball games, tennis courts, and lakes.

Forest Park, located on the western edge of the central corridor of the City of St. Louis, is one of the largest urban parks in the world, outsizing Central Park in New York City by 500 acres. It offers many of St. Louis' most popular attractions: the Saint Louis Zoo, the Municipal Theatre (also known as, The Muny, the largest and oldest outdoor musical theatre in the United States), the St. Louis Science Center (with its architecturally distinctive McDonnell Planetarium), the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, several lakes, and scenic, open areas. Forest Park completed a multimillion dollar renovation in 2004 for the centennial of the 1904 World's Fair. The Zoo, Art Museum, and Science Center are all world-class institutions. The Zoo-Museum Tax District provides them operating funds, so general admission to them, as well as to the History Museum, is free.

The Missouri Botanical Garden, also known as Shaw's Garden, is one of the world's leading botanical research centers. It possesses a beautiful collection of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, and includes the Japanese Garden, which features a lake filled with koi and gravel designs; the woodsy English Garden; the Home Gardening Center; a rose garden; the Climatron; and many other scenic gardens. Immediately south of the Missouri Botanical Garden is Tower Grove Park, a gift to the City by Henry Shaw.

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a 90.96 acre national park located on the downtown riverfront where the city was first founded in 1764, and commemorates the westward growth of the United States between 1803 and 1890. The centerpiece of the park is the stainless steel Gateway Arch, which is the most recognizable structure in the city. Located below the Arch is the Museum of Westward Expansion, which contains an extensive collection of artifacts and details the story of the thousands of people who lived in and settled the American West during the nineteenth century. Nearby and also part of the memorial is the historic Old Courthouse, one of the oldest standing buildings in St. Louis. Begun in 1839, it was here that the first two trials of the Dred Scott Case were held in 1847 and 1850. This park is also the location of the annual July 4th festival, Fair St. Louis.

See Also

Flag of St. Louis City of St. LouisSt. Louis County Flag of St. Louis

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