The Incredible Shrinking City
According to recently released U.S. Census data, the population of the city of Saint Louis has once again decreased. In 2014, Saint Louis’ population dropped to 317,419, a decline of 1,946 people since the 2010 Census. Although the drop is only 0.6 percent, the trend of a declining population continues for Saint Louis. In fact, ever since the 1950s, Saint Louis City’s population has been sinking.
In 1950 Saint Louis was the eighth largest city in the United States with a population of 856,796. According to the 2014 Census estimate, Saint Louis has two-thirds fewer people than in 1950.
Such a dramatic decrease in population has major effects on local government. As the population declines, taxable income and sales leave the area and revenue declines with it. Lower population levels exacerbate other issues such as abandoned buildings, lower property values, and, as a result, fewer funds for public schools.
Saint Louis is a city that has much to offer. So why are people continuing to leave? What should the city do to halt the deflating population?