History Of The Population Of St. Louis
Prior to European settlement, the area of present-day St. Louis was inhabited by Native American mound builders. During the late 17th century, French explorers began arriving in the area and in 1764, two French fur traders established the settlement of St. Louis by opening a trading company. As British settlers began taking control of the east coast, French settlers moved west to St. Louis. The city offered economic opportunities due to its position along the Mississippi River and its importance in the fur trade. The mid-1800’s brought many German and Irish immigrants, increasing the population to 160,000 by 1860. Many Africans were enslaved here during that time and were freed after the Civil War. Despite the racial tensions and discrimination, many African Americans moved to the city during the early 20th century seeking jobs that were not available in the south. The population continued to grow until the 1950’s when industry jobs were lost and people began moving to the suburbs, unhappy with city services. The population of 850,000 was drastically reduced to around 319,000. New immigrants from Vietnam, Bosnia, Mexico, and Central America began arriving during the 2000’s.
Racial Composition Of The Population Of St. Louis
Today, the demographics of the city reflect its history. Nearly half of the population, 49.2%, are black. The majority of these individuals live at the north side of St. Louis. Another 43.9% are white. People of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity make up 3.5% of the population, with Mexicans making up the largest percentage of this racial group. Asians comprise 2.9%. The largest ethnic group within the Asian percentage are Vietnamese.
Languages Of The People Of St. Louis
The primary language of the population of St Louis is English, spoken at home by 91.05% of the residents in the city. Spanish is spoken by 2.86% of the population. Other common languages include: Bosnian (.91%), Vietnamese (.74%), African language (.5%), Chinese (.5%), and French (.45%).
Bosnian Population Of St. Louis
It is interesting to remember that after the Spanish language, Bosnian is the second largest minority language spoken in St. Louis. This is since St. Louis is home to the largest Bosnian population in the world, outside of Bosnia. Around 70,000 Bosnian individuals live here today. Between 1960 and 1970, there were only around 15 Bosnian families. This increase in population was due to the Bosnian War that began in 1992; tens of thousands of refugees came seeking safety. They live primarily in the southern neighborhoods. Approximately 87% of them are Muslim.
Economy Of St. Louis
Although the city suffered a downturn in the economy that began around the 1950’s, today, it has shown signs of growth. The gross metropolitan product has been steadily increasing over the last 5 years and is now the 21st highest in the nation. The biggest industries in St. Louis are manufacturing, healthcare and social services, professional and technical services, and retail trade. Within these industries, the largest number of people are employed by the healthcare sector (around 34,000 individuals). The next largest type of employment is in administrative and support jobs, followed by manufacturing and then, food service. The city is home to a large number of corporate headquarters, including such organizations as Wells Fargo Advisors, Peabody Energy, Enterprise Holdings, and Mastercard.