St. Louis MO
View Larger Map The St. Louis area already offers more than 50 hiking, biking, and walking trails. Now it’s developing a unique interconnected system of more than 1,200 square miles of greenways along the Missouri, Mississippi, Meramec, and Cuivre rivers.
Quick St. Louis FactsFrom the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association (RCGA)
Greater St. Louis offers a unique blend. The nation's 18th largest metropolitan area, with nearly 2.8 million people in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois, it features the big-city assets of a broadly talented work force, great cultural and educational institutions, and superb recreational opportunities. Yet St. Louis also provides the convenience, intimacy, and affordability of a smaller community. This extraordinary combination produces an enviable lifestyles and a competitive home for progressive companies.
Quality of Life
St. Louis has a sanity about it that can be hard to find these days. A balance and degree of comfort that are absolutely exceptional among cities that also offer the kind of world-class assets this community features.
St. Louisans do it all. That’s literally true, because the metropolitan economy is extremely diverse. From automobiles to F/A-18 Super Hornets, from pharmaceuticals to software, from medical research to shoe design, from financial services to information technology, St. Louisans do almost everything that Americans do, and very nearly in the same proportions. That gives our work force a breadth and balance that’s unusual among metropolitan areas.
Location and Economic Diversity
Wherever it is, you can get there from St. Louis. Fast. And with surprisingly little hassle. The area's central location – both in population and geography – means that we're within 500 miles of one-third of the U.S. population, and within 1,500 miles of 90 percent of the people in North America.
The St. Louis region features a pro-growth business culture that is getting better all the time. In its 2006 Best Places for Business list, Forbes ranked St. Louis No. 27 out of the 200 best metropolitan areas for cost of doing business, which factors in cost of labor, energy, taxes, and office space.
Surprising St. Louis
Covering nearly 1,300 acres, Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States – and about 500 acres, or 60 percent, larger than Central Park in New York City.
The custom of placing chocolate on hotel pillows began here when the actor Cary Grant used chocolate for wooing purposes at the Mayfair Hotel downtown.
The St. Louis Cardinals have won more world championships than any other National League team.
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville is one of the best higher education values in the Midwest and has the lowest in-state tuition rates of any public Illinois state college or university.
Besides T.S. Eliot, writers who were born in St. Louis or spent significant portions of their lives here include: Maya Angelou, Tennessee Williams, Howard Nemerov, William Gass, Eugene Field, William Burroughs, and Jonathan Franzen.
St. Louis offers more free, major visitor attractions than any other place outside of the nation’s capital, including the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, Cahokia Mounds, Museum of Westward Expansion, St. Louis Science Center, Missouri History Museum, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, and Grant’s Farm.
- The St. Louis City Museum in 2005 was named as one of the “World’s 10 Best Public Spaces” by the New York-based Project for Public Spaces.
- The St. Louis Zoo was ranked the No. 1 zoo in the country and No. 4 family attraction overall in 2004 by Zagat Survey’s U.S. Family Travel Guide.
- Grant’s Farm was ranked the No. 7 family attraction overall by Zagat’s.
- The Magic House, St. Louis’ Children’s Museum was ranked by Family Fun Magazine in 2004 as the No. 1 most appealing attraction for children in the United States — beating out even Disneyland and Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
- The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra is widely considered among the top five or top 10 orchestras in the United States.
- The Saint Louis Art Museum is recognized as having one of the top 10 comprehensive art collections in the United States.
- The Saint Louis Science Center serves the fourth-largest number of people of any science center in the United States.
- The Missouri Botanical Garden is among the top botanical gardens in the world in terms of both attendance per capita and its value as a research facility.