Saint Louis County, Missouri sits just to the east of, but does not include, the exciting city of St. Louis. St. Louis County is a primarily urban expanse stretching over 506 square miles, with almost all of it considered part of the extensive St. Louis Metropolitan Area.
St. Louis County contained a population of 1,016,300 according to Census 2000 data. The 2004 estimate showed a slight decrease of .7%, but St. Louis County still remains the most populous county in Missouri. It also consistently shows the highest per-capita income, with ’03 figures of $43,225. The U.S. average is just over $30,000. The median household income was just over $50,500, while the national norm is $42,000.
The seat of St. Louis County is the city of Clayton. With a prime location just 12 minutes from the Lambert International Airport and Downtown St. Louis City, Clayton contains a special mix of quiet neighborhoods and thriving commerce. “St. Louis’ second downtown” is the nickname for the Clayton business district. It boasts its own skyscrapers and international firms, along with unique specialty shops and excellent dining establishments. Over 80% of Clayton holds carefully planned residential neighborhoods and beautiful parklands.
The largest city in St. Louis County is Florissant, with a population just over 50,000. This charming city contains more than twenty historic sites, including the Old Town District. Chesterfield is St. Louis County’s second largest city, population 47,000. Chesterfield lies 22 miles west of St. Louis City. It became a city after incorporating many long-standing individual communities with names such as Hog Hollow and Gumbo.
The third largest municipality is University City, known as the “Queen City of St. Louis County”. This physically beautiful city boasts the most parks per acre in the metro area. A designated Tree City USA, it bursts into spring colors with the help of U City in Bloom, a citizen-run organization that tends gardens and flowerboxes throughout the community. Washington University is right next door and 18 other colleges lie within 10 miles.
Other cities with populations over 30,000 include Oakville, Wildwood and Ballwin. One hundred and six communities comprise St. Louis County, with almost half containing less than 10,000 residents. The smallest St. Louis County towns are Norwood Court and Cool Valley, with populations just over 1,000. This provides newcomers to the St. Louis Metro Area with a fine array of choices for lifestyle, from bustling cities to more intimate small-town living. Four colleges in St. Louis County provide excellent educational opportunity. These include STLCC - Meramec, Webster University, St. Louis Christian College and Logan College of Chiropractic.
St. Louis County has a continental climate that brings four distinct seasons. Containing no big mountain ranges or large bodies of water, winter and summer temperatures can reach extremes. The Canadian arctic air masses have dropped January temperatures to minus 6 degrees, while summer temperatures can reach 100.
The Missouri River forms the northern boundary of St. Louis County, while the Meramec River is the southern edge. To the east lies the mighty Mississippi. The scarcely populated western portion of St. Louis County is the beginning of the mysterious Ozark Mountains. Here, in this remote and rugged area, limestone bluffs rise up craggily, overlooking the Missouri. As the population of St. Louis County increases, this section is seeing a distinct rise in wildlife, such as deer, coyotes and wild turkeys. Part of the crucial Mississippi Flyway migratory route, St. Louis County residents watch flocks of Canadian geese and mallards, a variety of raptors, as well as shorebirds like the egret and the Great Blue Heron.
St. Louis County, Missouri provides wonderful options for those seeking to visit or relocate near the bustling city of St. Louis. This affluent county offers an outstanding quality of life.
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