Population

St. Louis should have 900,000 persons in 1970

The City of St. Louis can anticipate a population of 900,000 persons by 1970, based on these assumptions:

  1. That the population of the St. Louis Metropolitan District continues to maintain its present proportion to total urban population of the United States.
  2. That an attractive environment for living will be developed throughout the city to counteract current decentralization trends.
  3. That the city is, nevertheless, a maturing urban center that can never expect to attain the tremendous past growth of certain earlier periods.

A summary of past trends and a demonstration of the impact of the above assumptions on future trends are provided in Table Number II and Table Number III. If the City of St. Louis does not provide through planning an atmosphere for living that will compete favorably with its suburbs it may continue to suffer from decentralization so readily shown in Plate Number 3.

There can be expected certain changes in the pattern and density of the city's population partially as a result of proposed rebuilding of central obsolete districts and rehabilitating of midtown blighted areas and partially by absorption and development of areas now vacant. Table Number IV compares 1940 and 1970 population and densities provided by each of five types of land use.

To a considerable extent the above land uses are found in combination. Thus any general district in the city will usually contain two or more such land uses. A district may, for instance, include single-family, two-family, commercial, and public uses. Table Number V presents a comparison of 1940 and 1970 population and densities by general density districts taking cognizance of this mixture of uses within each of the districts. The 1940 census figures for each of the 764 Census Bureau enumeration districts were used as the basis for this tabulation.

This population density study is the basis for the Comprehensive Plan.



Table Number III
Population Growth by thirty-year periods
City of St. Louis 1764 - 1970
Population of City at End of Period Population Grain During Period
Period Total (To Nearest 1,000) Per Cent Metro. District Number (To Nearest 1,000) Per Cent Gain
1764-1820 4,000 - 4,000 -
1820-1850 75,000 - 71,000 1,775
1850-1880 350,000 - 275,000 367
1880-1910 687,000 73.4 337,000 96
1910-1940 816,000 59.6 129,000 19
1940-1970 900,000a 54.5 84,000 10

a) Estimate based on assumptions stated in text, Page 10 (Population).



Table Number IV
Area, Density, And Population By Land Use
City of St. Louis, 1940 And 1970
Gross Area (To Nearest 100 Acres) Average Density per Gross Acre a) Total Population (To Nearest 1,000)
1940 1970 1940 1970 1940 1970
Single- Family 9,000 11,000 25 22 223,000 242,000
Two- Family 3,300 3,400 58 54 190,000 185,000
Multiple-dwelling 3,100 3,700 105 105 325,000 412,000
Commercial & Industrial 8,500 10,000 7 5 60,000 50,000
Parks, Playgrounds, Institutions & City Property 8,000 8,700 2 1.4 16,000 12,000
Vacant 7,900 3,000 - - - -
Total City 39,800 39,800 20.5 22.5 816,000 900,000

a) including adjoining street area.



Table Number V
Area And Population By Density Districts
City of St. Louis, 1940 And 1970
Density per Gross Acre a) Gross Area a) (To Nearest 100 Acres) Total Population (To Nearest 1,000)
Range Average No. Persons 1940 1970 1940 1970
0-20 7 22,300 20,000 156,000 140,000
20-40 29 10,300 12,000 300,000 348,000
40-60 47 6,100 5,500 287,000 260,000
60-80 66 1,000 2,300 65,000 152,000
80-100 85 100 - 8,000 -
Total City 1940 20.5 39,800 - 816,000 -
Total City 1970 22.5 - 39,800 - 900,000

a) including adjoining street area.

The several changes for the period 1940 to 1970 reflected in Table Number V are:

  1. A decrease of over 2,300 acres in the non-residential districts having densities of less than 20 persons per gross acre, largely as the result of the absorption of vacant or sparsely developed land for more intensive use. Population in this classification of neighborhoods would drop from 156,000 to 140,000.
  2. An increase of 1,700 acres in residential districts of a single-family type (with densities of 20 to 40 persons per gross acre) mostly as a result of new construction and partly as an indirect thinning effect of the rehabilitation program. Population in these generally outlying neighborhoods would increase by 48,000 or 17 per cent.
  3. A contraction of 600 acres in medium-density districts typically two-flat or mixed residential (with densities of 40 to 60 per gross acre) mainly through rehabilitation of blighted districts. In this category population would fall by 27,000 or 9 per cent.
  4. A more than compensating increase of about 1,300 acres of apartment densities through the redevelopment of central obsolete areas. Good living conditions can be achieved at densities of about 70 persons per gross acre by modern garden type apartments. In these districts, as the rehabilitation of the city is carried out, a population increase of 87,000 or 133 percent would occur.
  5. No district will have a density per gross acre of over 80 persons by 1970. At present such densities run to over 95 in a few small districts immediately northwest and southwest of the central business and wholesale district. In 1910 there were gross densities exceeding 120 per acre in these same districts.

Plate Number 4 shows the population densities in the city in 1940 and those estimated for 1970. The latter plan is based upon a continuation of recent trends, namely, reduction of areas of high density, and a gradual increase in the very large areas having low densities in 1940.

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