Census | St. Louis Public Radio

Census

For African-Americans and people from Africa and the African diaspora, the 2020 census is already raising questions.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The 2020 census is still two years away, but there is plenty of buzz about what the federal survey will ask, including questions about citizenship and country of origin.

For the first time, people will be able to write in their origins in a blank box on the census instead of just checking a race.

The survey, which happens every ten years, is designed to count the population so federal funds can be allocated across the country. But the new questions about where people come from can generate confusion or suspicion — especially from African-Americans, who may not know where their ancestors originated, or immigrants who believe their responses might be used against them in the future.

The region actually grew slightly from 2016 to 2017, but Baltimore and other cities gained more residents in the same period.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the St. Louis metropolitan area continues to lose ground compared to other cities.

Data released Thursday show the area, which includes St. Louis City and 14 neighboring Missouri and Illinois counties, dropped to the 21st most populous metropolitan area in 2017. Baltimore replaced St. Louis in the 20th position.

Every day is an exercise in tight decisions for Corey Robinson. “If you only make $8.50, you gotta use your money wisely,” he said. “Do you feel like eating today, or do you feel like getting on the bus?”
Kae M. Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

On his first job out of college as a corrections officer for St. Louis County in 1984, Perez Maxwell noticed that no black men had social work roles. When he sought a promotion to social worker two years later — a position he said he had the education and training to win — he hit a wall.

That was just the first of several jobs where Maxwell observed that he and his black colleagues lost out on leadership roles that went to white counterparts with similar education.  

He can’t help but think that helps explain why many black people in St. Louis continue to be paid much less than white people. Black households made 49 percent of what white households made in St. Louis, based on median incomes in the most recently available census data, which detailed how the nation changed in 2016.

The St. Louis region grew slightly in 2014, but the city dropped by about 1,000 people, according to new Census data.
U.S. Marine Corps Flickr page

St. Charles County continues to lead the region in growth, increasing by about 1.5 percent since 2013 to nearly 380,000 residents in 2014. Its increase of more than 5 percent since 2010 leads the region and ranks 5th in the state. That's according to the newest population estimates released by the U.S. Census.  

The region as a whole — Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis and Warren counties as well as St. Louis city in Missouri, and St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois — grew slightly, but is still just over 2.6 million as it has been since 2010.

Every year, the U.S. Census Bureau releases an annual survey of population characteristics for metro areas throughout the United States. Because sample sizes are limited, each data point included here will have a margin of error. You can peruse the data yourself here.

St. Louis is Getting Older, and Life is More Expensive