St. Louis attracts families, retirees, and young adults looking for a family-friendly place to live in the Midwest—its soulful jazz scene and mouth-watering cuisine topping the list. Here are 14 pros and cons of living in St. Louis, MO.

Pros of Living in St. Louis

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There are many benefits of moving to St. Louis, whether you’re completely new to the city or relocating to a new neighborhood. Here are the pros of living in The Lou!

Pro: Affordable Living in a Larger City

Moving to a larger city can hurt your wallet, but you can find an affordable cost of living in St. Louis! Despite being one of the largest cities in the Midwest, living expenses in St. Louis are 4% lower than the State of Missouri and a whole 15% lower than the national average. Locals can also find affordable housing in St. Louis with a median home price of $143,700, which is 30% less than the national average and 43% less expensive than nearby Kansas City, MO. And if you’re looking to rent in St. Louis, prices are approximately 11% lower than the national average at $840.

Pro: Jobs in Major Local Industries

The Gateway to the West has an unemployment rate of about 3.1%, offering plenty of opportunities for singles and young professionals to find employment. Major industries in the area include aviation, biotechnology, manufacturing, transportation, finances, utilities, and healthcare. Though, if you’re looking for a job in St. Louis, Boeing, SSM Health, and BJC HealthCare are some of the biggest employers in the city. There are also several Fortune 500 companies—such as Emerson, Centene Corporation, Edward Jones, and Reinsurance Group of America—that are headquartered in the St. Louis area.

Pro: Great Healthcare in The Lou

Living in St. Louis gives you access to some of the best healthcare in the United States! As one of the nation’s top hospitals, Barnes-Jewish Hospital specializes in Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Cancer. St. Louis Children’s Hospital is one of the best children’s hospitals in the country and a top-ranked Missouri children’s hospital. Commonly called Mo Bap, the Missouri Baptist Medical Center provides excellent services for patients who need treatment for Leukemia, Lung Cancer, Colon Cancer, and other cancer conditions. Find top-notch pediatric care for your family at Cardinal Glennon. Or seek great cardiovascular care, behavioral health, and more at Mercy Hospital St. Louis.

Pro: Top St. Louis Universities

If you’re looking to obtain a higher education, Mound City has plenty of colleges and universities to choose from! Attend a prestigious private university where you can enroll in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Olin Business School, the McKelvey School of Engineering, and more at Washington University in St. Louis. Become a Triton and take advantage of research opportunities or join one of the many student organizations at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Register in classes to obtain a world-class education and major in physical therapy, biology, nursing, health sciences, and more at St. Louis University, one of the nation’s oldest Catholic universities with a campus in Madrid, Spain. Join one of the 100 clubs and organizations or participate in NCAA Division II athletics and compete in the Great Lakes Valley Conference at Maryville University St. Louis. Or find a major from over 50 programs that fit your interests at Harris-Stowe State University, a historically Black university in St. Louis that has been serving the community for over 160 years.

Pro: Robust Public Transit

Owning a car in a larger city can be a hassle, especially during high-traffic times. Not only is Downtown St. Louis a walkable area, but there are also plenty of public transit options! You can catch rides provided by the St. Louis Metro Transit via the MetroLink, MetroBus, and even the Metro Call-A-Ride, an ADA service for individuals with disabilities. Feeling like a workout? Take two-wheel transportation with the shared bike and scooter program. And if you’re looking to travel outside of the city, you can take the train with Amtrak at Gateway Station or fly out through the St. Louis Lambert International Airport!

Pro: Outdoor Activities in St. Louis

If you like to get fresh air or enjoy going on hikes, there is no shortage of outdoor fun in STL. A destination that attracts 13 million visitors a year and major St. Louis attractions, Forest Park is 1,300 acres and also has forests, lakes, streams, and nature reserves to explore! Take a nice stroll through the George Washington Carver Garden, Strassenfest German Garden, or the Climatron, a greenhouse full of tropical rainforest plants at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Go on the Downtown Microadventure, STL Riverfront Adventure, or Missouri River Trip with Big Muddy Adventures. Or find great bike trails in St. Louis like the Saint Louis Tower Grover Park Tour in Tower Grove Park, the St. Louis Riverfront Trail, or Grant’s Trail!

Pro: Fun St. Louis Attractions

There is no shortage of things to do in St. Louis when you move into the community! Walk through attractions like Historic Hill, River’s Edge, and The Wild to see over 16,000 animals and 500 species at the Saint Louis Zoo. Continue your animal exploration at Changing Rivers and Shark Canyon, or get up close and personal at the Jelly Touch Pool at the St. Louis Aquarium. Buy tickets to exhibits like Artifacts of Wonder, GameXPloration, Roving with Perseverance, or the Life Science Lab at the Saint Louis Science Center. Take advantage of longer hours to see exhibits like the Gateway to Pride, St. Louis Sound Reprise, and other rotating exhibitions on Thursday nights at the Missouri History Museum. Visit exhibits like The World’s Largest Pencil, MonstroCity, taxidermy butterflies and moths in the George Dehil collection, and more at the City Museum. Learn about the history of Black people through arts, artifacts, documentary videos, and more at The Griot Museum. And of course, you can always visit the famous Gateway Arch or admire the view while relaxing on a blanket in the grass at the Gateway Arch National Park.

Pro: St. Louis Sports Teams

Residents can enjoy the world of sports in St. Louis! Be sure to bundle up while you cheer on the St. Louis Blues (NHL) as they hit the ice at the Enterprise Center. Munch on your favorite snacks or buy some peanuts and popcorn before you sit down to watch the St. Louis Cardinals (MLB) aim for a home run at Busch Stadium in Downtown St. Louis. Watch the St. Louis Battlehawks (XFL) fly into the end zone to victory at The Dome at America’s Center. Or head down to CITYPARK stadium to watch the St. Louis CITY SC (MLS) pass the ball down the pitch to score their winning points!

Pro: Amazing St. Louis Arts Scene

Residents have tons of St. Louis art museums and performing arts shows to immerse themselves in! Attend First Fridays, take CAM Tours, go to film screenings, or secure a seat at one of the Artist Talks at the Contemporary Art Museum. Take advantage of Phyllis’ Seats and enjoy a breathtaking performance for free at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Make your way through permanent collections and rotating exhibitions like Ellsworth Kelly, Aso Oke: Prestige Cloth from Nigeria, or The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Purchase season tickets to see African-American plays like Timbuktu!, Wedding Band, and more at The Black Rep, which has been performing the “Theatre of the Soul” since 1976. Visit the Tree Grove, Spring Church, Park-Like, and current exhibitions such as Sarah Crowner: Around Orange, On Earth, or Delcy Morelos: Interwoven at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Bring the kids to family concerts like Tiny Tunes: The Lion and The Mouse, or buy tickets to shows such as Home Alone In Concert and Star Wars: The Last Jedi In Concert at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Learn about the history of blues music in America while you go through exhibits like Early Evolution of the Blues, The Blues Plugs In, The Blues Goes Mainstream, and The Tradition Continues at the National Blues Museum, which also occasionally holds live music events.

Pro: Delicious St. Louis Cuisine

The Lou is definitely a foodie’s paradise with popular cuisine that you’ll be sure to fill up on! Find a great slice of St. Louis pizza when you order Margherita, Bacon Cheeseburger, or Figit-About-It pizza at Anthonino’s Taverna. Looking for great seafood in St. Louis? Start with Blue Crab Cakes before digging into Shrimp & Grits, Prince Edward Island Mussels, or Blue Point Oysters at Broadway Oyster Bar. Sink your teeth into Ribs, Smoked Chicken, Beef Brisket, and other smoked meats with sides of your choice at Pappy’s Smoke House. Or, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can order the best gooey butter cake in St. Louis in flavors like Triple Chocolate, Red Velvet, or Pumpkin at Park Avenue.

Pro: Breweries in the Lou

Anheuser-Busch may be headquartered in St. Louis, but there are also tons of local breweries for you to try out! Try the Ripple White Ale, Cast Iron, or Single Speed at 4 Hands Brewery. Sip an ice-cold Oatmeal Stout, Kolsch Ale, or Dry Hopped APA from Schlafly Beer. Order a Hommelbier, Southside Blonde, or Ollie Ollie Oxen Free at small-batch brewery Perennial Beer. Ask for a Forest Park Pilsner, Dorfbier, Fantasyland, Urban Underdog American Lager, or Zwickel at the Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Or munch on pub grub while drinking brews like the American Brown Ale, Burton-On-Holt, or Wee Heavy Scottish at Civil Life Brewing Co.

Cons of Living in St. Louis

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While there are many positives of STL, there are some other things you should be aware of before moving to St. Louis, MO. Here are three cons to living in The Lou.

Con: Houseless Population

Though the city has a poverty rate of 19.6%, St. Louis leadership is dedicated to assisting residents who fall on hard times. The City of St. Louis has Drop-In Centers like the Dream Center, Covenant House, and Center For Youth on the Rise where people can get assistance with addiction, mental illness, housing, and other resources. Organizations such as the St. Louis Area Foodbank and St. Louis Dream Center Food Pantry offer things like free groceries, and churches like Central Baptist Church and Focus Gateway City offer hot meals. At-risk youth in St. Louis can rely on the Annie Malone Children & Family Services, the St. Louis Steppingstone, and more for transitional housing, emergency shelter, and other services. There is also housing aid provided by Hope House, Magdala House, Gateway 180 Homeless Services, Beyond Housing, and other important organizations in St. Louis.

Con: High Crime Rates

Moving to larger cities often means an uptick in crime. While there are concerns about crime in St. Louis—with the city being safer than 1% of the U.S.—there are efforts to keep citizens safe! Alongside the funds allocated for improvements by non-profit Cure Violence, St. Louis city officials have approved an additional $1.9 million allocation to Mission St. Louis, an organization that has programs like the Neighborhood Healing Network to help neighborhoods that are most impacted by violent crime. Plus, there are plenty of safe neighborhoods in St. Louis that you can move to that offer quiet areas to settle down.

Con: Extreme Summer Weather Conditions in the Summer

St. Louis summers have extended periods of intense heat and humidity, which make the perfect conditions for severe thunderstorms and even tornadoes. While St. Louis isn’t right in the heart of Tornado Alley, its geographical position still makes it important to prepare for severe weather. However, the possibility of inclement weather doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up all summer! Attend seasonal events like the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival and enjoy performances at Forest Park in the spring months, and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community during Pride St. Louis in the summer.


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