Census | St. Louis Public Radio

Census

The intersection of Collinsville and St. Louis Avenues in East St. Louis is where a mob of white rioters first gathered before they rampaged through the city, seeking out and killing black residents.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

BELLEVILLE — Illinois’ slow but steady population decline could jeopardize the home rule status some Metro East cities enjoy.

Home rule grants cities broad taxing and regulatory powers, making it easier to quickly tackle local issues and fund projects and services. Status is automatically granted to any Illinois city with more than 25,000 residents. Towns can also achieve home rule through a referendum, as Fairview Heights did. 

Illinois Senators want to make sure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 5, 2011 - The village of Plato, Mo.,  in Texas County, will be holding a celebration next Monday in honor of its selection as the "2010 Census Center of Population."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Plato represents "the mean center of population ... the point at which an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all 308.7 million residents are counted where they live and all weigh exactly the same."

The U.S. Census Bureau hired more than 600,000 temporary workers for the 2010 census.
U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau officially announced its recruiting drive for the 2020 census on Monday. The bureau may face challenges finding enough qualified candidates to fill thousands of openings, including positions in Missouri and Illinois.

There is concern that there won’t be enough people looking to work on the census. In July, the U.S. Census Bureau published a blog post that sounded the alarm about the pool of candidates for 2020 jobs. Officials worry that the current low unemployment rate, around 4 percent, means the bureau won’t get the millions of applications it needs to fill the temporary positions.

All states experienced an increase in the percentage of interracial and interethnic married-couple households from 2000 to 2012-2016.
U.S. Census Bureau

The rate of interracial marriages in Missouri is increasing at a rate slower than other states, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report.

Results from the American Community Survey show the percentage of interracial married-couple households increased from 7.4 to 10.2 percent between 2000 and 2012-2016 nationwide.

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

Black residents are leaving the city of St. Louis in greater numbers than ever, according to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau released on Thursday. The statistics show more than 4,000 black St. Louis residents chose to live elsewhere between 2016 and 2017.

"Part of what’s driving this is that in parts of the city the quality of life has declined, where residents have decided that they are looking for other homes," said Onesimo Sandoval, a demographer at Saint Louis University. "Better access to schools, better access to opportunities such as jobs, resources."

An illustration of African Americans questioning their origins.
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

Countdown: Has the metro area reached its limits?

Jul 26, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 26, 2011 - In 1950, five counties made up the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area, or MSA -- St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Madison County and St. Clair County. But since the 1960 Census, the region has added real estate every decade.

Until now.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 8, 2011 - Nearly 40 years ago, Mike Goeke moved into this neighborhood. Forest Park Southeast was then a different place than it is now.

White families had mostly packed up and moved away. There was crime and poverty. But there was also promise. Goeke and the Catholic lay community he was part of saw it then. And depending on how you look at the census numbers, quite a few others have since caught up.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 28, 2011 - Around 3 on a Tuesday afternoon, people fill the tables and form a line at the door at Crown Candy Kitchen in Old North St. Louis.

Barbara Zid steps outside with her sister and family as another June storm rumbles overhead. Zid, from Swansea, Ill., has made the trip here her whole life. Nothing inside the famous candy shop and restaurant has really changed.

But outside, things are quite different.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 6, 2011 - In Texas County, the village of Plato is the kind of place you can only find on a Google map when you zoom way, way in. The population, according to the 2010 Census, was 109.

But for the past several months, Plato has also been both the mean center of population, according to the census, and the center of quite a bit of media attention.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 14, 2011 - In Wentzville, the city staff had some bets going about how they'd fare in the 2010 census. Everyone knew the growth in population would be huge. Still, they underestimated, says Mayor Paul Lambi.

"We thought it would be closer to 210 percent."

From 2000 to 2010, Wentzville grew 322 percent.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 3, 2011 - Castling is the only maneuver in chess that allows a player to re-position two pieces with one move. Each player may castle only once per game and then only under specified circumstances, which I won't bother to detail because enthusiasts already know the rules and non-players don't care.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 3, 2011 - The newly built two-story house in the 5800 block of Clemens in St. Louis is a long way from the Town and Country neighborhood where Kenneth L. Murdock grew up as the son of a physician. Young Murdock is a gregarious WGNU radio talk show host who thinks nothing of inviting a visitor to pull up a chair and talk about city politics and the census. It's a spring-like Wednesday morning when sunshine bathes his street in the city's West End neighborhood, and a light breeze shakes music from a chime on his front porch. But the pleasant setting doesn't overshadow his worries about the city's future, its population loss, especially on the north side.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 1, 2011 - As her bed-and-breakfast guests enjoyed generous helpings of Belgian waffles and sausage, bananas and strawberries on Monday morning, innkeeper Kathy Marks-Petetit chatted away about how she hadn't been sure her dream-come-true business would take off and thrive in Lafayette Square.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 24, 2011 - For the first time, St. Charles County has surpassed the city of St. Louis in population -- underscoring the region's continued westward expansion.

The latest numbers for the 2010 census -- released this afternoon -- show that St. Charles County's population has grown almost 27 percent. Although it's not the state's largest percentage increase, St. Charles' additional 76,000 residents is the largest statewide hike in sheer numbers -- and should help bolster the county's growing political clout.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 16, 2011 - The state of Illinois may be losing a congressional seat, but the latest census numbers show that the state can take heart in that it remains the nation's fifth most populous state.

Probe a bit deeper, and it's also clear that Illinois is experiencing many of the population shifts seen elsewhere in the country: