Map of St. Louis Missouri Area
St. Louis is the second-largest city in Missouri (with Kansas City taking first). The area was first settled by Native American mound builders from the 9th century through the 15th century. French explorers came to the area beginning in the late 17th century, but the French and Indian War slowed settlement.
French settlers eventually began moving in greater numbers to the St. Louis area from Louisiana in 1764, developing the area that would become modern St. Louis. Under Spanish control at this time, the area eventually changed hands back to the French and then, along with Louisiana, was sold to America in 1804.
To this day, St. Louis continues to honor its history and boasts a diverse population, roughly split between black and white residents. Beyond that, however, it features relatively low diversity compared to other big cities.
Known for its majestic Gateway Arch and its baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis has a lot to offer. Today, we’ll be looking at its location in the U.S., its size, if it’s a good place to live and where the best areas are to live, as well as what St. Louis is best known for.
Where is St. Louis located on the U.S. Map?
Located adjacent to the confluence of two large rivers, the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers, St. Louis sits on the western bank of the Missouri. Just about in the center of the U.S., St. Louis lies on the far eastern edge of the state.
In terms of bordering states, Kansas lies to Missouri’s west; Nebraska to the northwest; Iowa to the north; Illinois to the east; Kentucky and Tennessee to the southeast; and Arkansas to the south.
How big is St. Louis?
As of 2019, the recorded population of St. Louis was 308,174, good enough for the 65th-largest city in the U.S., 11th-largest in the Midwest, and 2nd-largest in its state. The population has been on the decline, decreasing an average of 1.1 percent every year from 2014 to 2019.
In terms of size, the city of St. Louis has an area of 65.99 square miles while the urban and metropolitan areas feature a size of 923.6 and 8,458 square miles, respectively.
Is St. Louis a good place to live?
According to the U.S. News & World Report from 2019, St. Louis comes in as the 81st-best city to live in the U.S. This ranking was based on the overall quality of life and the job market while factoring in the cost of living and other factors.
St. Louis wins high marks for cost of living—it’s one of the lowest in the country among bigger cities, with a median home price under $200,000. Plus, there are many free and low-cost forms of entertainment.
Depending on the kind of weather you like, you might find St. Louis’ desirable. It does feature four distinct seasons (unlike some places, like California and Florida), but can also experience extreme weather events like tornadoes and flooding.
The financial site The Penny Hoarder named St. Louis the country’s very best city for millennials, in part because of growing industries found in St. Louis like healthcare, technology, and education.
St. Louis is also great for those looking to raise their kids, as there are many fun activities—like museum and zoo visits, baseball games, and parks—as well as a strong public-school system.
Lastly, if you hate sitting in traffic (and who doesn’t?), St. Louis could be your dream city, as it consistently ranks well under the national average commute time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
What are the best areas to live in St. Louis?
According to niche.com, these are the top ten suburbs in the St. Louis area:
- Richmond Heights
- Creve Coeur
If you’re after a more urban experience rather than a suburban one, many people enjoy living in downtown St. Louis as it combines the benefits of urban life with the feel of a smaller city.
While there’s a higher crime rate and cost of living downtown, this is true of essentially any downtown area, particularly in larger cities.
What is St. Louis known for?
First, here are a few of the most famous people from St. Louis:
- Maya Angelou – poet and author
- Josephine Baker – dancer, singer, actress, and civil rights activist
- Yogi Berra – Hall of Fame baseball player
- Chuck Berry – rock and roll musician
- John Goodman – actor
- SZA – singer
- Jack Dorsey – CEO of Twitter and Square
- T.S. Eliot – poet and author
And here are five of the things that St. Louis is best known for:
1. America’s Pastime
- Baseball is a popular sport in St. Louis and it has roots going back to the nineteenth century, when the St. Louis Browns were a charter member of the American Association League.
- The Cardinals have won 11 world series, second only to the New York Yankees, and have featured many prominent players and managers, including Branch Rickey, Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, and Albert Pujols.
- America has Susan Blow of St. Louis to thank for kindergarten. Influenced by German education, she borrowed from Friedrich Froebel’s ideas about teaching young children and began her own kindergarten in 1873. (“Kindergarten,” in case you didn’t know, means “Garden of Children” in German.)
3. The 1904 Summer Olympics
- In 1904, St. Louis hosted only the third-ever modern Olympic Games, which also coincided with the World’s Fair. Due to global political tensions, there were only 650 competitors from 12 countries, and most participants by far were American.
4. The Lewis and Clark Expedition
- Another historical event that took place one hundred years prior to the World’s Fair and Summer Olympics in St. Louis was the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, which began in St. Louis in 1804. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark made their way to the Pacific Ocean by way of the territory recently acquired by Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase.
- The Anheuser-Busch Brewery is a prominent feature of St. Louis and dates to the 1860s, when St. Louis German immigrants Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch began the company. Visitors can take guided tours of the original brewery in the Soulard neighborhood, which is a far cry from the beer empire that Anheuser-Busch has since become, with well-known brands like Budweiser, Bud Light, and Michelob Ultra.