Regional Economy

Even with divisions by two great rivers and two state lines, the St. Louis region is woven together by the daily interactions of businesses and the talented people who work for them. The 15-county metropolitan area has 2.8 million residents, more than 1.4 million workers and over 83,000 business establishments.

Our $161 billion economy is the 4th largest in the Midwest. The region’s GDP is larger than the state of Kansas, and the Missouri side of the region accounts for 45 percent of that state’s economy.

Built on commerce, the region began as a trading center in 1764, grew into a manufacturing powerhouse and has undergone dramatic economic diversification driven by expanding service and tech sectors over the past two decades. Now one of the nation’s most diverse metropolitan economies, St. Louis is the third most economically diverse metropolitan area in the nation – an important gauge of a region’s flexibility and economic stability.

About half of the regional gross product and employment is represented by the health, education, financial and business services sectors.

The region’s current industry composition mirrors the national mix, closely linking St. Louis’ economic performance with national business cycles.

The region’s strengths, driving future economic growth, include central location, infrastructure capacity, favorable cost structure, a dynamic start-up ecosystem, and world-class competencies in information technology, agricultural technology, automotive and aerospace manufacturing, financial services, logistics and transportation, cybersecurity and geospatial science.

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