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St. Louis

More than 2.5 million people live in the Greater St. Louis region, which includes 12 counties covering 6,375 square miles in Missouri and Illinois, making it the 18th largest metropolitan area in the United States.

Where to Live & Learn

Our attractions, cultural institutions and ease of getting around the area all make the St. Louis region a great place to live. In fact, Fortune magazine recently rated Greater St. Louis the nation's Third Best Place To Live and Work. Greater St. Louis boasts the second-lowest cost of living and the second most affordable housing rates among major metropolitan areas.

Families find it easy to take root in the region because of its close-knit, friendly communities and variety of educational opportunities. The region offers 115 public school districts ranging from outstanding urban magnet schools to excellent suburban systems, over 300 of the finest private schools in the nation and 80 technical and vocational schools, one of which was designated as an exemplary school by the US Department of Education. The St. Louis area's average ACT score of 21.8 is higher than the national average of 21.0. Expansion Management, Money and Redbook magazines and the U.S. Secretary of Education have commended area schools in recent years.

Families choosing private elementary and high schools have many choices. Catholic education has a long, proud tradition in this region. Ours is the oldest and largest system of schools in the state, and the seventh largest archdiocesan school system in the country. The percentage of Catholic families who choose Catholic schools for their children here is among the highest in the country, with about 59,000 students enrolled in our Catholic elementary and high schools. In addition to Catholic schools, the area also has many non-sectarian Christian, Lutheran, and other religious-based schools, along with a variety of secular private schools.

Twelve universities and four year colleges, including 16th-ranked Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis; eight two-year institutions and numerous professional schools enhance the quality and skills of the region's work force and enrich its intellectual creativity and strength. Several community colleges, in both Missouri and Illinois - serve both traditional college-age and working adult students.

Where To Play

Downtown or around town, there are many ways St. Louisans play. Two professional sports teams - Cardinals baseball and Blues hockey - play in downtown St. Louis venues. Laclede's Landing, a revitalized riverfront district, features additional entertainment opportunities, including riverboat casinos, restaurants, shops and the Gateway Arch Park, which surrounds the famous Gateway Arch.

Union Station, formerly St. Louis' train terminal, now houses a comedy club, hotel, specialty shops and restaurants, and a man-made pond for paddle-boating under the old train shed. Grand Street, a center for ethnic restaurants and art galleries; historic Soulard, featuring an open-air farmer's market, beautifully restored homes and the Anheuser-Busch brewery; the Hill, home to Italian neighborhoods, shops and restaurants; and the Central West End, with its eateries, antique shops, and grand old homes are just a few of the neighborhoods visitors love to explore.

St. Louis' Forest Park, site of the 1904 World's Fair, outdoes New York's Central Park in size. Frequented by jogges, rollerbladers and picnickers, the park also hosts some of the region's favorite cultural and educational institutions: the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Science Center and the Missouri History Museum. All are free to the public. Even the Municipal Opera (affectionately known as the Muny), a 12,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, offers free seats for its summer theater productions.

Like the outdoors? Five state parks and hundreds of neighborhood parks make St. Louis one of the greenest regions in the nation and a beautiful place to visit. The area boasts dozens of fine public golf courses. Lakes and rivers for fishing and boating are found throughout the area.

St. Louisans don't have to travel far to reach a variety of attractions outside of the city, including the Fairmont Park thoroughbred racing arena, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Gateway International Raceway, Casino St. Charles Riverfront Station, Six Flags over Mid-America and several historic area wineries.

A little further away (about a 3 hour drive) is our wonderful Lake of the Ozarks region - a mecca for boaters, water-skiing enthusiasts, fishermen, and golfers. World-famous Branson, Missouri is about 4-1/2 hours away. Branson is considered "The Live Music Show Capital of the World", with more than 30 theaters playing host to over 60 shows.

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