2020 Census

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I guess it is not a surprise that Census Bureau once again estimates a small drop (.4%) in St. Louis population for 2012. Comparing ourselves to other cities nationally, it appears we ought to be in Ohio, where Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo all lost population. And of course Detroit also lost people.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what the 2020 Census will show, but I suspect we'll be in a range between a small drop to a small gain over 2010 and continued stagnant growth for the region. But what I do hope to see is that as a region we are beginning to make better choices. Our region is spending a larger share of transpo $$ on transit and bike/ped (and road and bridge maintenance over new lanes), a larger percentage of workers are employed in the core, results are beginning to be seen from greater City/County and regional collaboration.
Yes I agree. Hoping to see the census results soon.
Roger, I think that is a pretty fair assessment of what to expect. However, it will be interesting with things stabilizing and maybe getting around the corner if

Jobs happen?

1) With St. Louis in a midst of a mini tech boom, will it a land a major employer either it be Google or another Financial Firm?
2) Will CORTEX become the bio research hub that it is starting take shape?
3) Will we see Dansforth center attract even more plant science people and companies that will make St. Louis a world leader.

I see a lot that happening. Where will St. Louis miss out, without a decent incentive program I think logistics will continue to play a minor role and Missouri is not even in the ball game of attracting big manufacturing facilities. Unfortunately, I think will lead to a slow revitalization around Lambert, North Riverfront and sadly Fenton might be hosting a football stadium in a location that once had thousands of great auto jobs.

Infrastructure? I think your right on Roger as the highway build out is slowing down with Page Ave extension on its last leg, Hwy 141 had its big build out with stimulus and MRB will add more then enough river crossing lanes. What will happen next?

1) City will get its new 22nd street interchange back along with West Downtown street grid, no question in mind. Will it get a at grade Grand and Forest Park Parkway intersection, no doubt
2) The big questions for the city, Will the raised section of downtown I-70 come down? Will the streetcar be under construction? Both will be huge to continue the city momentum.
3) The county is a crap shoot, none of what is out there as it is currently envisioned moves it forward in my opinion from the South Connector to the Daniel Boone/Westport Line. It will continue to try to make Hwy 141 into a full scale freeway with more improvements planned.

What big opportunity will be missed in my mind the next few years? Lambert Airport needs to see Concourse D go, as well as a number of underutilized facilities from the AA maintenance and National Guard Hangers. What needs to happen, a Consolidated rental car facility where D is, new international gates (not many, but new gates!!) and extend metrolink through with new airport stations.
I've been looking at the 2012 census data a little bit. The declines in St. Louis are moderating, but still around 400-500 people a year.

Of the 144 cities in population between 150,000 and 750,000, only 12 lost population from 2010->2012. Over 90% of cities are showing population growth.

There are 5 cities in the 150-750k group that shrunk at a faster rate than St. Louis: Detroit city, Michigan, Cleveland city, Ohio, Toledo city, Ohio, Buffalo city, New York, Rockford city, Illinois.

The good news is that cities overall are growing, reflecting a national trend of urban renewal (in fact, I believe they are growing faster than the suburbs now).

The bad news is that St. Louis is very near the bottom. 95% of cities are doing better than STL, and the entire region is growing sluggishly.
I think it's a reasonable assessment. And dredger I hope you're right with your infrastructure expectations. I'd be happy and a bit surprised to see more than one or maybe two of those city projects happen. Steve, thanks for the analysis. In context stagnation looks a lot worse than it does on its face.

roger wyoming II wrote:
But what I do hope to see is that as a region we are beginning to make better choices.


I agree that the region and MOBOT need to make smarter infrastructure investment choices, but I think people are starting to "make better choices" regardless of the flow of funding. I see the central corridor continuing to add density, from downtown to Clayton. I believe there will be a noticeable Whole Foods effect in the CWE, and that investments in Midtown will continue to spur population growth, Downtown will show strong gains. I think the continued investments in the East Loop, and stabilizing effect of Metrolink will cause Skinker-Debaliviere and West End neighborhoods to turn the corner to modest population growth. It would be particularly exciting to see West End grow, since it would represent a rare instance of northside gains. I also think Soulard, Lafayette Sq., and ONSL will put in modest growth, both on their own intrinsic attractiveness and their proximity to DT.

A streetcar would accelerate this trend, but I think it could hold strong even without it. A Southside Metrolink, Streetcar, or Grand BRT, could help some near southside neighborhoods turn the corner to small gains in population (mainly Benton Park, Fox Park, Shaw, TGS, & TGE) depending on where the line went. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening pre-2020.

Perhaps counterintuitively, if Metrolink is extended along the Daniel Boone alignment to Maryland Heights, I see it boosting population more in the Central corridor and downtown than in Maryland Heights. Based on STL's terrible track record with TOD, I think it would make living near the more urban stations that much more attractive, while not necessarily significantly increasing residential demand along Olive, Dielman, N Warson, Lindbergh, etc...
wabash wrote:
I agree that the region and MOBOT need to make smarter infrastructure investment choices, but I think people are starting to "make better choices" regardless of the flow of funding....


Those misguided botanical people are keeping our region down! More seriously, I agree that we should expect to see some good gains in the central corridor, including downtown.

However, I hope we don't face a rude awakening when the housing doldrums recede.... many demographers believe that many people would prefer to move to suburbs but are stuck where they are. If this is the case and applies to Saint Louis City, we could be under 300k in 2020. Anecdotally, I am aware of at least one family of four on my street that this seems to apply to.... they've put their home on the market twice over the past couple years and would like to move out to the suburbs.
^ :lol: Good spot.
What's in the suburbs? Nothing.
EW Gateway muni population change 2010-2012. So many munis! St Louis County is back above 1 million. Note the 90 munis combined lost pop and the unincorporated areas made all the difference. St. Charles County continues to out pace.

http://blog.ewgateway.org/wp-content/up ... -00-12.pdf
Gateway City wrote:
What's in the suburbs? Nothing.


In many places - good schools, all necessary amenities, low crime rates. Don't get a truth-ache. I think the city is making great strides and I hope and pray that it continues to do so, but as of now, that's what the suburbs have that some may argue that city can't compare to.

I live in Kirkwood, which is rarely picked on at NextSTL for good reason (great schools + inner ring + great downtown). I'll take half the house in Kirkwood over twice the house in Chesterfield any day of the week!
Interesting that Jennings, Wellston, and Kinloch experienced population growth.
^ I wouldn't take that as truth.
Juiceinkirkwood: Kirkwood is great for a bunch of reasons, but I think "inner ring" is a bit of a stretch for a township that borders Fenton and has 270 running through it.
I wouldn't take that as truth.


Why not? All those people leaving North city have to be going somewhere, and i doubt its Austin and Seattle. Not that the influx of poverty really bodes well for those munis.
juiceinkirkwood wrote:
Gateway City wrote:
What's in the suburbs? Nothing.


In many places - good schools, all necessary amenities, low crime rates. Don't get a truth-ache. I think the city is making great strides and I hope and pray that it continues to do so, but as of now, that's what the suburbs have that some may argue that city can't compare to.

I live in Kirkwood, which is rarely picked on at NextSTL for good reason (great schools + inner ring + great downtown). I'll take half the house in Kirkwood over twice the house in Chesterfield any day of the week!


I'm with Juiceinkirkwood, their is reasons why St. Charles county outpaces to more than a few people. Simply put, demographics matter and what those demographics want. A household of single young people and/or empty nesters is nice and carrying the central corridor from downtown to Forest Park big time. But, individuals into their 40's are most likely to be at the highest in their earning potential, most likely to have a household of multiple heads (think kids that fill schools and parks) and most likely afford a life of convenience, think SUV and restaraunts. A demographic that describles me to a tee, except I traded in my 4x4 pickup for a minivan with kid #2.

St. Louis City needs to continue to focus on schools as well as providing choice of schools (an advantage in my opinion), transportation and safety in addition to economic development, rehabbed its extesnive housing stock and moving parks and urban infrastrucctured forward. Its a tall order considering that south city and county hold onto to that demographic is tenouos and a lot of that demographic who could afford it left north city altogether.

To state that suburbs offer nothing is denial to the hard task of growing the urban cores population.
These numbers are anemic at best and the region is way behind average growth nationwide. Even Franklin CO. is estimated to have lost population. Our rubber band region is breaking.
STLEnginerd wrote:
I wouldn't take that as truth.


Why not? All those people leaving North city have to be going somewhere, and i doubt its Austin and Seattle. Not that the influx of poverty really bodes well for those munis.


People have been leaving North City for more than half a century. In the past decades fewer and fewer people are leaving North City. Wellston has been hemorrhaging people since the 1950's as well. Unless there are known new housing developments, it seems very unlikely that this has turned around. Perhaps Wellston has bottomed out. Maybe the 71% decrease in population won't go any lower. We should remember that the estimated population of the City of St. Louis was up to 354K in 2009 from 348K in 2000 before we learned the real number was 319K in 2010.

Wellston:
1960: 7,979 -15.1%
1970: 7,010 -11.6%
1980: 4,495 -36.2%
1990: 3,612 -19.6%
2000: 2,460 -31.9%
2010: 2,313 -6.0%
In response to a discussion over who our peer cities are, I mentioned Detroit and Cleveland as those that best fit our situation. Lo and behold, wikipedia tells me that all three cities have a density of b/w 5,100 - 5,200 people. (If you add the core county, our density of the combined populations of Saint Louis City and County fall below Detroit/Wayne and Cleveland/Cuyahoga.)

Here is what our population would be if we had the density of a couple healthier cities: Pittsburgh = 343,000 @ 5,540 ppl./sq.mi.; 435,000 @ Minneapolis' 7,019 ppl./ sq.mi. and 459,000 @ Seattle's 7,402 ppl./ sq.mi.

If we gained 1,000 ppl./ sq.mi. than we currently do we'd have about 380,000 people. I doubt we'll get to the "Pittsburgh target" by 2020, but there is always 2030!
^ Pittsburgh is not larger or denser than St. Louis. Healthier is also debatable too. My fiance is from Pittsburgh and just visited St. Louis for the first time not too long ago and said St. Louis felt both larger and more vibrant. I really wish people would stop drinking the proverbial "Pittsburgh is the rust belt model city" kool-aid. Pittsburgh is still in free fall at the metro level also. I will say they have better marketing and progressive strategies though, but that's mostly out of being in a more desperate situation. As of 2010 it is a city of 307,000 people. St. Louis is 318,000 people as of 2010. Pittsburgh is barely denser.
^ merely going by residential population density as stated at wiki. And it's that data point that I meant by "healthier". Certainly there are many cities that have lower density than we do but would be considered "healthier" in other metrics.
goat314 wrote:
^ My fiance is from Pittsburgh and just visited St. Louis for the first time not too long ago and said St. Louis felt both larger and more vibrant.


Reminds me the discussion of whether Saint Louis is a Big City. I think we may no longer be a Big City. Despite jarringly low growth, we've stretched our region so thinly over a massive area that we're more like a that a center-less mass that fortunately happens to have some renewed spark in the older core.
goat314 wrote:
^ Pittsburgh is not larger or denser than St. Louis. Healthier is also debatable too. My fiance is from Pittsburgh and just visited St. Louis for the first time not too long ago and said St. Louis felt both larger and more vibrant. I really wish people would stop drinking the proverbial "Pittsburgh is the rust belt model city" kool-aid. Pittsburgh is still in free fall at the metro level also. I will say they have better marketing and progressive strategies though, but that's mostly out of being in a more desperate situation. As of 2010 it is a city of 307,000 people. St. Louis is 318,000 people as of 2010. Pittsburgh is barely denser.


Yeah.
^ just because Pittsburgh is smaller geographically than Saint Louis doesn't mean they deserve to be picked upon! Really, though, I don't know much about Pittsburgh other than it is a nice place to visit. I love the baseball stadium and the Warhol Museum is a must see. I'd also like to have 5,400 people per square mile than our 5,100.

Edit: I also love the yellow bridges. A nice touch to a nice skyline.
"Stretching so far that you're more like a centerless mass." Could be used to describe a lot of much larger cities: Phoenix, Los Angeles, Houston.... But I don't think it applies to STL.
wabash wrote:
"Stretching so far that you're more like a centerless mass." Could be used to describe a lot of much larger cities: Phoenix, Los Angeles, Houston.... But I don't think it applies to STL.


You edited out the beginning to my sentence, which was "Despite jarringly low growth..." If we had the kind of growth anywhere close to those cities over the past several decades instead of decline our region would be positively sick. It would be the greatest place in America. Instead we're just trying to stay afloat.