The city of St. Louis financial stability, and how this economic power city’s GDP raises the bar to rank high in USA

The Mississippi River and Missouri River in St. Louis play a large role in moving goods, especially bulk commodities such as grain, coal, salt, and certain chemicals and petroleum products.

Image: Gateway Arch/Twitter

I was a little disappointed to wake up to read that the Census is still not getting accurate accounting of St. Louis city’s population. As a result, it is showing that our city is shrinking. So, how is the economy holding the torch?

Let’s deep dive into what is going on in St. Louis and why we should not lose any sleep anytime soon.

But a casual observer would ask, where are they going? And I, as a noted citizen of this metropolitan sprawler, would quickly point out that they haven’t gone too far.

People are in and out of the city year after year. They are either living here or playing here. They are not going very far, because our metropolitan area is stable at over 2.8 million residents, and is the largest in MO.

Now let’s talk about the economy. Is St. Louis small urban core, generating any money?Since Missouri’s other big city limit Kansas City, is larger, who is making the most economic merits?

Let us discuss, the 2019 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of St. Louis was $152.4 billion. That makes St. Louis the 22nd highest GDP in the United States. According to the 2017 Economic Census, manufacturing in the St. Louis, MO-IL metro area conducted $53.3 billion in business, followed by the retail trade with $51.3 billion, the healthcare and social service industry with $22.5 billion, and professional, scientific, and technical services with $15.1 billion.

So, the population is not growing, but little big old St. Louis is still making money accelerate in the state of Missouri. In fact, it is the no. 1 GDP in the state, and it is a force to be reckoned with.

St. Louis is a city located in St. Louis County Missouri. With a 2023 population of 296,262, in 2020, the St. Louis MSA was the 21st-largest in the nation with a population of 2,820,253. The larger CSA is ranked 20th-largest in the United States

In my opinion these numbers that I always study from time to time, ease my curiousity of a sort. Because I always wonder, are we actually surviving, existing as little ole St. Louis? And then I did my research and studied that this town is doing great business, on some levels.


St. Louis Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of St. Louis was:

  • White: 46.44%
  • Black or African American: 45.66%
  • Asian: 3.37%
  • Two or more races: 3.1%
  • Other race: 1.13%
  • Native American: 0.26%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04

Racial disparities in employment, education, and income persist throughout the nation, and the St. Louis metropolitan area often ranks among the regions with the largest gaps between blacks and whites. Black people in St. Louis are more likely to live in poverty, have less access to healthy foods, and live in areas with  a high concentration of poor people. These factors make it challenging to access resources and amenities as well as build wealth.

The economy of St. Louis, Missouri has a diversified variety of sectors, both historically and currently.

The Mississippi River and Missouri River in St. Louis play a large role in moving goods, especially bulk commodities such as graincoalsalt, and certain chemicals and petroleum products. In 2004, the Port of St. Louis was the third-largest inland port by tonnage in the country, and the 21st-largest of any sort. St. Louis is also the nation’s third-largest railroad hub, moving everything from fertilizer, gravel, crushed stone, prepared foodstuffs, fats, oils, nonmetallic mineral products, grain, alcohol, and tobacco products to motorized vehicles and parts.


The average household income in St. Louis is $64,089 with a poverty rate of 23.77%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to – per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in St. Louis is 36 years, 35.2 years for males, and 36.8 years for females.

The Companies we Keep

As of 2020, the St. Louis area is home to eight Fortune 500 companies: CenteneEmerson ElectricReinsurance Group of AmericaEdward Jones InvestmentsGraybar ElectricOlinAmeren, and Post Holdings

Other Headquarters or Sub-headquarters


Stay informed for The Argus’ April Financial Health column coming soon.


On Key

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The St. Louis Association of Community Organizations, a.k.a. SLACO is a connecting organization for the St. Louis region’s Neighborhood Associations. We offer support to our member organizations, as well as a variety of community-based programs. SLACO is guided by principles of self-determination, democracy, and an undying faith in the goodness and wisdom of the people […]