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Greater St. Louis is home to a skilled, diverse and well-trained workforce that benefits from one of the largest educational centers in the country.

Forty universities and colleges award more than 35,000 degrees each year. The institutions include leading research universities like Washington University and Saint Louis University, as well as major public universities like the University of Missouri St. Louis, as well as a host of community colleges. Educational attainment is above the national average, with 35 percent of the workforce having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. SmartAsset ranked St. Louis 9th best city in the country for college graduates.

The region also boasts numerous training and placement efforts, including the innovative LaunchCode apprenticeship program.

The area’s workforce comprises more than 1.4 million people. Average wages are slightly below the national average, while unemployment is below the national mark.

The region has one of the largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) workforces in the country. More than 85,000 people are employed in science and technology occupations, making up more than 6% of total employment. The St. Louis region has more people with PhDs in plant science than any metro area in the world.  And the region has fostered an emerging ecosystem around the $1.75 billion western headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency being built in north St. Louis.

A Diverse and Inclusive Workforce

The St. Louis metropolitan area is the 20th largest in the United States with a population of 2.8 million. The bi-state metropolitan area includes seven counties in Missouri and eight in Illinois. The area is diverse and inclusive, attracting about 40,000 new people every year, including more than 4,000 immigrants. It is home to 50,000 Bosnians, the largest population outside of Bosnia. The area offers multiple initiatives aimed at strengthening economic inclusion, including the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative, the International Institute and the St. Louis Mosaic Project.

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15 Counties

The bi-state metropolitan area includes seven counties in Missouri and eight in Illinois.

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