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St. Louis is a metropolitan area that is home to more than 2.7 million people but is a “city of neighborhoods.” St. Louisans appreciate culture and are loyal to their professional sports teams. This region is a great place to raise a family, but also offers a lot for singles. It is solidly Midwestern, but a diversity of cultures gives it a more global flavor. Far from monolithic, a wide variety of political and faith viewpoints are represented here. The St. Louis region truly offers something for everyone — business and educational opportunities, recreation, entertainment, and natural beauty.
For all that St. Louis has to offer, the cost of living is considerably low. In 2007, Forbes magazine ranked St. Louis No. 4 on its “Most Affordable Places To Live Well” list, which rated cities according to housing affordability, cost of living, quality of life, and best arts and leisure offerings. In St. Louis, 76 percent of homes are available to the median buyer.
Innovative and exciting industries such as plant and medical sciences, information technology, and advanced manufacturing are thriving here. Greater St. Louis is the headquarters for 21 Fortune 1000 companies, nine of which are in the Fortune 500. It’s also home to some of the country’s largest privately held companies and some of the fastest growing businesses in the country. After BJC Health Care, other major health care systems are SSM Health Care and St. John’s Mercy Health Care.
Living in St. Louis
Want to get the flavor of St. Louis? Check out this video that highlights the "Gateway to the West."
Here is St. Louis from Anastasis Films on Vimeo.
St. Louis At A Glance: Real Estate | Quality of Life
- In August 2007, Forbes magazine named St. Louis the seventh “Most Affordable U.S. Real Estate Market.”
- St. Louis ranked as the 18th smartest place to live on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s first list of “50 Smart Places to Live” in 2006 based on criteria of median home price, cost of living, economic vitality, education, health care, local arts scene and recreational facilities.
With more than 20 universities and colleges enrolling about 113,000 individuals in four-year institutions, the St. Louis area produces nearly 26,000 graduates with bachelor’s, graduate or professional degrees each year. The area also has an extensive network of community colleges, which enroll an additional 74,000 students, as well as vocational and technical training facilities and some of the best elementary schools and high schools in the country.
Cultural and entertainment offerings are plentiful here. Many of the hallmark cultural and educational institutions boast free admission, including the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum and the Municipal Opera (Muny). Festivals and fairs of all types — arts, music, ethnic and “other” — happen year round, from the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park to the St. Louis Jazz and Heritage Festival in downtown Clayton to the Mardi Gras Barkus Pet Parade in the historically French Soulard neighborhood. Live theater and musical performances cater to all tastes and price ranges. St. Louisans love good food, and a wealth of independent restaurants of every ethnic variety — many near the Medical Center — meet the need for flavor.
St. Louis At A Glance: Singles
- Forbes magazine ranked the culture in St. Louis No. 9 of 40 in a 2007 survey of “Best Cities for Singles.”
- Forbes magazine named St. Louis the 14th “Best City For Young Professionals” in the June 2007 issue based on the high share of best big businesses and small businesses that call St. Louis home, the number of graduate students attracted to the region, the never-married population and the salary to cost of living ratio.
The St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams and St. Louis Blues draw sell-out crowds to their respective stadiums. Other professional sports teams represent the Major Indoor Soccer League, National Indoor Football League, Frontier League Baseball, and the American Basketball Association. Gateway International Raceway (auto racing) and Fairmount Park (thoroughbred racing) are just a short hop away on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. Last but not least, college-level sports teams here frequently compete at the top of their games and draw enthusiastic support.
Greater St. Louis is home to more than 100 parks and some 200 miles of trails for cycling, running and walking. At 1,293 acres, Forest Park — adjacent to the Medical Center — is approximately 500 acres larger than Central Park in New York and offers a multitude of outdoor opportunities. A network of hiking and bicycle trails that follow the area’s great rivers is emerging as one of the best in the country. Many state parks, both in Missouri and Illinois, are within easy driving distance. Three hours away is the 55,000-acre Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri’s largest body of water, as well as many beautiful rivers and streams ideal for canoeing. They include the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the nation’s first scenic waterway, established by Congress in 1964. Many destinations for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking — even spelunking and skydiving — encircle the area. And with four distinct seasons, there’s always a new set of activities to enjoy every few months.
St. Louis At A Glance: Families
- St. Louis ranked No. 9 among large metro areas in the U.S. 2007 Best Cities for Relocating Families ranking by Worldwide ERC and PrimacyRelocation. The study was based on factors such as cost of living, crime rates, education, climate, arts and culture, diversity and number of physicians per capita.
- Family Fun magazine named St. Louis the “Top Midwest City for Visitors.”
- In 2008, eight public high schools in the St. Louis region were ranked on the Newsweek “Best Public High Schools in the Nation” list.
St. Louis is centrally located, making travel to all parts of the country convenient. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is a national hub served by 20 airlines. St. Louis is a stop on multiple Amtrak routes. Chicago and Memphis are five hours by car; Kansas City and Indianapolis are even closer. The Missouri Ozarks are a few hours away for a getaway as rustic or indulgent as you wish.