The Problem

Here are just a few of the troubling statistics for the city of Saint Louis:

  • City population has fallen from more than 850,000 in 1950 to slightly more than 319,000 in 2010.
  • While the population decline is slowing, the city lost 29,000 residents from 2000 to 2010, an 8 percent drop.
  • The city anticipates revenues in 2011-2012 that will be barely above the 2007-2008 level.
  • Crime is a serious problem in many St. Louis neighborhoods.
  • Unemployment rate in January 2011 of 11.9 percent (compared to 9.5 percent nationally and 9.9 percent for the state of Missouri).
  • A potential city budget gap (even with the earnings tax in place) of nearly $420 million in five years at current spending levels.
  • An excessive reliance on the earnings tax, which generates nearly as much revenue as the next three highest revenue sources combined.

Meanwhile, Saint Louis County faces its own issues. Did you also know that:

  • 65 of the 91 municipalities in Saint Louis County lost population between 2000 and 2010.
  • St. Louis County has fewer dollars available to meet a growing need for service among its population.  Total spending fell 3 percent from 2009 to 2010.
  • Most of the population growth in Saint Louis County is concentrated along the fringes of the county, with the vast middle portions holding steady and losing.