St. Louis was a striving transportation and manufacturing hub along the Mississippi River for the first half of of the 20th century followed by decades of population and economy decline leaving it a city of violence and despair.
The population of St. Louis has decline from 856,000 in 1950 to 300,500 in 2020 according to the US Census Bureau data. This decline has left the city with vast stretches of abandoned homes and businesses. The population decline began shortly after World War II when cars became more affordable and people could start community from outside the city to work.
Rise in Crime
The crime in St Louis can best be described by one local committeewoman Lucinda Frazier. “I’ve never seen it this bad and it’s scary,” She goes on to say “”The criminals are committing these crimes morning, noon and night. They have no respect for police, community, the elderly, kids, nobody. I am so sick of this violence.”
Even though violent crime increased nationally in 2020, St. Louis County’s murder rate dropped to an all-time low of 81, a decrease of 30 percent from the record 116 in 2020 and a rate roughly equivalent to that of 2019.
With 417 violent crimes per 100,000 county residents in 2021, the crime rate was still significantly higher than it had been only a few years before. And the 2021 rate was considerably higher than the 300 violent offenses per 100,000 residents that were typical a decade earlier.