This article is a part of a monthly feature highlighting East-West Gateway’s Where We Stand series, which ranks St. Louis among the 50 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas (referred to as the peer regions) on topics of regional importance.
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released new population estimates for U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), showing that the St. Louis MSA had a population of 2.8 million in 2018 and was the 20th most populous MSA in the country. In 2017 , the Census Bureau had estimated that the St. Louis population slipped from the 20th to the 21st most populous MSA in the country.
Since 2010, St. Louis’ population has grown by around 17,000 people (0.6 percent), but the region’s population growth has slowed in recent years. Among the 50 most populous U.S. regions (which are referred to as the peer regions), St. Louis was one of eight to lose population last year. Between 2017 and 2018, St. Louis’ population declined slightly by -0.01 percent (385 people), a rate of change that ranks 44th out of the 50 peer regions.
This decrease in population was largely due to domestic out-migration. Between 2017 and 2018, St. Louis saw a greater number of births than deaths, resulting in an increase of 4,887 people due to natural changes. The region also experienced a net increase of 4,242 people due to international migration, but these gains were offset by a net decrease of 9,471 people due to domestic out-migration (people moving to other parts of the country).
Within the 15-county area, St. Charles and Lincoln counties experienced the greatest increases in population, adding 3,937 and 1,552 people to their population totals, respectively. The city of St. Louis and St. Clair County experienced the greatest losses in population, with decreases of 5,028 and 1,367 people, respectively.
To find out more information on the St. Louis population, check out the latest Where We Stand Update.
Access this Where We Stand Update, the 8th Edition of the Where We Stand publication, and other reports in the Where We Stand series at www.ewgateway.org/wws. You can also subscribe to the Where We Stand email list for future updates.
About Where We Stand
Since 1992 East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWG) has produced Where We Stand (WWS) to ignite discussion and help guide decision making on a range of topics important to the region. The WWS series presents rankings for St. Louis among the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States. The eighth edition (released in November 2018), data, updates, white papers, and past editions are available at www.ewgateway.org/wws.