Census bureau: St. Louis no longer among top 20 most populous metro areas | St. Louis Public Radio

Census bureau: St. Louis no longer among top 20 most populous metro areas

Mar 22, 2018

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.

The estimates put the St.Louis metro area population at just over 2.8 million as of July 2017. The region actually grew slightly from 2016 to 2017, but Baltimore gained more residents in the same period.

As the region’s population growth stagnates, the latest estimates show St. Louis City’s population decreased by 1.4 percent, or about 4,500 people, from 2016 to 2017. The total city population is estimated at about 308,000.

In 1960, St Louis was the ninth largest metro area in the country.


Unlike the once-in-a-decade census, which counts individual Americans, the bureau develops its estimates by measuring population change since the most recent census. The data comes from administrative records on births, deaths and migration. The next U.S. Census will take place in 2020.


Population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau help determine how federal dollars are distributed each year.

Five more takeaways:

  1. The 10 counties that grew the most between 2016 and 2017 are all in the South and the West.
  2. Maricopa County, Arizona, which includes the cities of Phoenix and Mesa, grew by more people than any other county. With its population estimated at more than 4.3 million, it is the fourth-largest county in the country.
  3. Six of the top 10 growing counties were in Texas: Bexar, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Harris and Tarrant.
  4. Cook County, Illinois, which includes metropolitan Chicago, saw the largest decrease of any county. However, at 5.2 million, it still ranks as the second most populous county in the country.
  5. The primary driver behind the growth of the 10 fastest-growing counties in 2016-2017 was domestic migration; that is, people moving from one county to another.

Related: 2020 Census To Keep Racial, Ethnic Categories Used In 2010

Follow Holly Edgell on Twitter @hollyedgell