St. Louis’ neighborhood population density

St. Louis’ neighborhood population density

*For this graphic, habitable area of the City of St. Louis was calculated to be 48.176 square miles. The city is officially 66.2 square miles, with land area measured at 61.9 square miles. Subtracted from this were city parks, Bellefontaine and Cavalry Cemeteries and the largely industrial neighborhoods of North Riverfront, Near North Riverfront, Riverview, and Kosciusko.

In 2012, Alex Ihnen created a bar graph that explored what the city would look like if it had the population density of each neighborhood. Now that a decade has gone by and we have the 2020 Census results, I decided to update the graph. There is some shifting with the continued population loss on the northside and the strong population growth in the Central Corridor.

For comparison, here are the population densities of some St. Louis County municipalities and other major U.S. cities (using total land area and not subtracting industrialized areas, parks or cemeteries):

St. Louis County Municipalities

  • University City 5,963/sq mi = an STL City of 368K
  • Maplewood 5,300/sq mi = an STL City of 327K
  • Webster Groves 4,048/sq mi = an STL City of 250K
  • Kirkwood 3,031/sq mi = an STL City of 187k
  • Chesterfield 1,491/sq mi = an STL City of 92K
  • Maryland Heights 1,232/sq mi = an STL City of 76K
  • Ladue 1,006/sq mi = an STL City of 62K

Peer Cities

  • Baltimore 7,235/sq mi = an STL City of 447K
  • Milwaukee 6,001/sq mi = an STL City of 371K
  • Pittsburgh 5,470/sq mi = an STL City of 338K
  • Cleveland 4,793/sq mi = an STL City of 296K
  • Las Vegas 4,527/sq mi = an STL City of 279K
  • Cincinnati 3,900/sq mi = an STL City of 241K
  • Charlotte 2,846/sq mi = an STL City of 176K
  • Indianapolis 2,454/sq mi = an STL City of 152K
  • Nashville 1,368/sq mi = an STL City of 84K

Superstar Cities

  • New York City 29,302/sq mi = an STL City of 1.8M
  • San Francisco 18,635/sq mi = an STL City of 1.15M
  • Chicago 12,060/sq mi = an STL City of 745K
  • Washington D.C. 11,294/sq mi = an STL City of 697K
  • Seattle 8,775/sq mi = an STL City of 542K

Other Cities

  • Phoenix 3,103/sq mi = an STL City of 192K
  • Austin 3,006/sq mi = an STL City of 186K
  • Dallas 3,840/sq mi = an STL City of 237K
  • Denver 4,674/sq mi = an STL City of 289K
  • Tampa 3,376/sq mi = an STL City of 208K
  • Atlanta 3,685/sq mi = an STL City of 228K

What population is right for St. Louis in today’s day and age? The St. Louis Jobs Plan set a goal to add 30,000 residents by 2030. Is that achievable? Where should St. Louis target for growth in this decade? Which neighborhoods surprised you the most? What value does population density have in identifying a good city? Sound off in the comments.

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