What's it like to live in St. Louis, MO?

Profile written by local expert:

John Rehg

St. Louis is a historic metro area of 2.8 million with a family-friendly reputation and tight-knit communities. St. Louisans are loyal to their hometown. Many return permanently after going away to school or living elsewhere.

The area's low cost of living and central U.S. location are draws for many, including companies looking to relocate. St. Louis businesses run the gamut from tech startups to global financial investment companies to aircraft manufacturers. On a smaller scale, a homegrown iconic favorite is the Blueberry Hill restaurant and bar in the Loop, where the father of rock 'n' roll himself, Chuck Berry, used to wow the crowds every month with his famous duck walk.

The charm of St. Louis' many unique neighborhoods may be a pleasant surprise to newcomers. Homes range in style from three-story Victorians to wood-framed farmhouses to traditional ranch and two-story colonials.


U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

St. Louis, Missouri is ranked:

#81 in Best Places to Live

#108 in Best Places to Retire

#9 in Most Dangerous Places

#24 in Cheapest Places to Live




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

St. Louis, MO Quick Stats

  • 2,804,998

    Metro Population

  • $49,180

    Average Annual Salary

  • 66.1° / 47.8°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 39.0

    Median Age

  • $157,725

    Median Home Price

  • 41.0 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.4%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $858

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 25.6 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in St. Louis, MO?

St. Louis offers a host of attractions and activities that keep locals busy. Residents can often be found jogging, bicycling and inline skating through picturesque Forest Park, which is larger in acreage than New York City's Central Park. A love of sports is palpable here, with residents often attending Cardinals baseball or Blues hockey games.

Fans of the arts can check out the blues music scene in the Soulard neighborhood, take in a performance by the St. Louis Symphony and enjoy live theater at The Muny (an amphitheatre) and the Fox Theatre. Family-friendly attractions, including the Saint Louis Zoo, abound as well.

Find out more about what there is to see and do in St. Louis, MO

What's the cost of living in St. Louis, MO?

St. Louis' low cost of living is a major draw, with the median home sale price resting far below the national median. That said, the average income in St. Louis is also slightly lower than the national average. St. Louis' housing market is atypical in that many homes in the city core are lower in value compared to homes in the surrounding neighborhoods. This is because, on average, many residents living in the city proper have lower incomes than those who live in more suburban areas.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.7 /10

How we calculate this.

St. Louis offer a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2018

St. Louis


Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in St. Louis, MO.

What's the weather like in St. Louis, MO?

St. Louis experiences all four seasons. The region is also prone to extreme weather, such as tornadoes, flooding and lightning storms.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

2.8 in


4.7 in


4.3 in


3.9 in


Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around St. Louis, MO?

St. Louis is predominantly a driving town. Though traffic congestion is relatively modest compared to other metro areas, St. Louisans still have to contend with sluggish rush-hour traffic. At midday, however, it does not take much time to drive from one end of the immediate downtown area to the other.

A smaller portion of the population relies on Metro Transit, which operates buses and a light rail system throughout St. Louis. Meanwhile, getting around by bike has been made easier with the designation of biking lanes on many of the roadways throughout the area.

Located at the heart of the country, St. Louis is made accessible by the St. Louis Lambert International Airport, not to mention Amtrak and inter-city bus services.

Commuting in St. Louis, MO

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

25.6 minutes

0.8 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in St. Louis, MO?

The metro area has been predominantly German in its ethnic heritage since the mid-1800s when a large German immigrant migration grossly increased the local population. St. Louis originated as a French trading post in the late 18th century, then a jumping off point for settlers gathering supplies before heading west – including Lewis and Clark.

Over the last several decades, a global influx of immigrants has changed the face of St. Louis, with Asians, Latinos, Bosnians and Indians exposing and sharing with locals their unique cultural and religious practices. Just under half of the St. Louis population identifies with religions, with many of those who do affiliating with the Catholic and Baptist churches. Other sects of Christianity – as well as Islam and Judaism – are represented here, as well.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

About the same number of single people in St. Louis as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.