Opportunity to Thrive

Financial empowerment, housing and transportation, health and safety

The Opportunity to Thrive theme encompasses the following topics: Financial Empowerment, Neighborhoods, and Health and Safety. In this theme, we look at the economic, environmental and health determinants that impact access to opportunity for St. Louis City residents. 

Opportunity to Thrive Score 42.58 Score is an average of this theme's topic scores

Financial Empowerment

The Financial Empowerment topic studies opportunities to build wealth and the cost of living in St. Louis.

View Financial Empowerment indicators


The Neighborhoods topic focuses on amenities available at the neighborhood level and concentration of disinvestment.

View Neighborhood indicators

Health and Safety

The Health and Safety topic looks at disparities in access to tools that support health, and health outcomes in terms of injuries, illnesses, and death.

View Health and Safety indicators

More Information

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Who lives in the city?

There are approximately 311,000 people who live in St. Louis. According to Assessor data, there are approximately 172,000 residential housing units in St. Louis.

Who works in the city?

According to a 2018 IHS Markit study commissioned for internal use, during working hours, the population of the city swells to 433,778 people. The 2016 American Community Survey estimates that of the 155,000 working city residents, 57% work in the city and the remaining 43% leave the city to work. Only 36% of jobs located in the city are held by city residents.

What departments in city government work on economic, health, and housing issues?

St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) is the economic development arm of the City of St. Louis. It manages real estate development activities, including the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA), which takes ownership of private abandoned properties, and the Business Assistance Center, which facilitates the licensing and permitting of businesses in the City of St. Louis and acts as the ombudsman for the City business community. The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Office is responsible for administering the Airport's DBE Program and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE), the City’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) Program. 

The City of St. Louis Department of Human Services coordinates programming and funding through five Divisions: the Office on the Disabled, Homeless Services, the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, Youth and Family Services, and Veterans Affairs. The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) connects job seekers to training programs and employment, helps employers diversify their workforce, and assists youth with career skills. The City of St. Louis Department of Health is responsible for the health and safety of the community.

The City’s Planning and Urban Design Agency provides planning, design review, construction plan approval, code compliance, and housing assistance. The Community Development Administration promotes neighborhood growth and stabilization through community development and the production of new and rehabilitated housing, especially for low- and moderate-income people. The Affordable Housing Commission promotes neighborhood stabilization through the preservation and production of affordable, accessible housing and support services that enhance the quality of life for those in need. 

The Public Safety Department runs the Building Division, which enforces the City building code, issues building permits, conducts building inspections, demolishes vacant buildings, and enforces zoning ordinances. 

The Mayor’s Office oversees these departments and agencies and provides strategic leadership with regards to City planning, development, and operations. 

Important governmental entities that are not within City of St. Louis government include the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, Treasurer’s Office, the East-West Council of Governments, and the St. Louis Housing Authority.

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