St. Louis is a city that regularly gets a lot of bad press in its direction. We’ve all heard about the high crime rates and the many tragedies that have befallen the city. However, it’s not all terrible stuff. The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a new interest in moving out of high-price cities and now, places like this Missouri city are starting to get more interest. But, is it actually a place worth moving to?
With its extremely affordable cost of living, high diversity, and loads of entertainment, St. Louis does have a lot of potential for a good home. However, bad schools, extremely high crime rates, a rampant homelessness problem, and low wages have made much of St. Louis a place in deep need of help. Most people would advise against moving here.
There are good and bad things alike for people who want to make St. Louis home. Whether it’s a good place for you depends on your own particular needs and budget.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Benefits Of Living In St. Louis, MO?
- What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In St. Louis, MO?
- Related Questions
What Are The Benefits Of Living In St. Louis, MO?
The pros and cons of living in St. Louis are a lot more clear-cut than in other places, that’s for sure. If you want to move here, you will get some pretty decent perks. They include these commonly-cited benefits below…
Affordable Cost Of Living
Many people in the US are seeking out cities where they can live on a shoestring budget. St. Louis definitely fits that bill. The cost of living index rates St. Louis an 88.7. This means that you could get a quality of life that would match a typical town’s $100,000 budget with only $88,700. This makes St. Louis one of the most affordable cities of its size in America.
Housing is one of the biggest discounts here, with the price of a typical home being around 62.9 percent of the national median. This means that the median home price is $153,594 compared to the current national median of around $210,000 to $260,000. (The national median home price statistics we’ve found vary depending on the site.)
The Midwest is notorious for being majority-white, and this can leave many people feeling a little unsettled. Studies show that people who live in highly diverse areas tend to have better lives and also feel more content with their communities. The good news about St. Louis is that it’s an incredibly diverse city that has representatives from many different cultures within its city limits.
If you are a family that wants to help children understand the importance of tolerance, St. Louis is a great place to do that. With so many different types of people within city limits, it’s amazing how much exposure to other cultures your children will be able to get.
Great Entertainment Options
If nothing else, St. Louis is a great place to go if you tend to get bored easily. There’s a little bit of everything here. For people who enjoy outdoor activities, there are plenty of places to hike and bike throughout the area. Sightseeing is a great activity to pursue here, even if you are not that big into history. With all the amazing architectural sights in the city, it’s easy to find something you’ll enjoy.
St. Louis also happens to have an amazing nightlife sector worth writing home about. If you are a fan of jazz, country, or even a little bit of hip hop, you’ll be able to find at least one venue you’ll want to attend. Oh, and when it comes to the food here? St. Louis does not play around. This is particularly true when it comes to BBQ, so make sure you leave space for food when you hit the town.
What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In St. Louis, MO?
Though St. Louis is always fun to visit, most people do not want to live there. The pitfalls are generally viewed as too much to overcome. Don’t believe it? Take a look at why people avoid the city…
When it comes to scholastic endeavors, it’s never a good thing to say you come from St. Louis’s public school systems. The entire area is woefully underfunded, and often overcrowded. The test scores that students get are below average, as are the high school graduation rates. Many kids don’t even feel safe in their classrooms, which is a pretty damning testament to how badly this city treats academia.
If you want to give your child good after-school programs and a safe space, then you need to skip St. Louis. The area is woefully underfunded.
High Crime Rate
This is definitely the big elephant in the room. The crime rate in St. Louis is absolutely shockingly high. The average property crime rate in St. Louis is well over quadruple the average crime rate in Missouri—a state that is already known for having high crime rates. Living here means you have a 1 in 16 chance of being a victim of a property crime like carjacking or theft. Oh, and that’s just from the crimes that are reported.
Heavy gang activity in the region also encourages a “don’t snitch” attitude. This is really bad, considering that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the country. You have a 1 in 52 chance of becoming a violent crime victim in this city. That’s precisely why the FBI named St. Louis the most dangerous city in America in recent years.
If you move here, it’s best to avoid going out after dark and you should always keep an eye on your possessions. It’s not just about your safety, either. It’s also because you never know what could go down in your proximity. Moreover, it’s best to avoid bringing kids to St. Louis, simply because of the risk of gang recruitment.
The income levels that people deal with in the city’s limits might have something to do with the crime rate. St. Louis locals have a median household income of $35,559 according to the Census Bureau. Some put it slightly higher at $42,000. They also have a median personal income of $28,186. This suggests that unemployment and underemployment is high. Even when people have jobs, it’s clear that most of the wages are pretty low.
Oddly enough, people living in the county have a median income close to $70,000. This suggests that most people in the area might need to leave town in order to get a job. Or, that they just left the city and prefer commuting due to the safety issues this place has. A high unemployment rate is also a serious issue throughout the city.
St. Louis might have housing at prices that people from San Francisco would only be able to dream of, but that doesn’t mean that the people who live within the city’s limits will be able to afford them. After all, salaries are low. Like, really low. As a result, there is a growing population of people who are homeless in the city.
Some of these individuals are just between places and are unable to make ends meet. Others have long-term mental health issues that prevent them from being able to function enough to obtain shelter. Either way, it’s an issue that has been causing serious problems with safety as well as the overall morale of the city.
Why is St. Louis so dangerous?
The high crime rate in St. Louis is partly due to socioeconomic issues, but there is another cause that scientists were able to figure out. According to the newest research, one of the reasons why St. Louis has such a high crime rate deals with the drinking water. There is a severe level of lead contamination throughout the city’s water system.
Lead contamination has been linked to higher crime rates in cities because of the fact that it decreases inhibitions. So “rage incidents” become far more common in lead-contaminated regions.
How much would it take to live comfortably in St. Louis?
A family of four would need at least $79,283 per year to live well in St. Louis. If you are just a young couple, then you might be able to live well with less than $60,000 per year. This is a far lower minimum living wages than most other parts of the country, especially when it comes to city living.
Despite this, St. Louis still houses five billionaires within its city limits. This makes it a pretty unique area in terms of wealth distribution versus the quality of life.
How can I meet new friends in St. Louis?
St. Louis is basically a small city with a fair amount of friendliness. It’s best to stick to methods that are geared towards socializing. Going to bars is a good way to do it, but most people tend to prefer meeting new friends through apps and websites. This makes sure that people understand that people are there for the right reasons, and that people are all on the same page. There are meetups for every type of person here, so you will find something that suits you.