Quality of Life

It's not just that St. Louis has the kind of cultural treasures you'd expect to see only in the very biggest American cities and not just that it boasts terrific recreational opportunities, from major league sports teams to spectacular parks and golf courses to beautiful hiking, biking and canoeing nearby.

It's that you can do these things in St. Louis. It's that nothing is out of reach - in price, in location, in the size of the crowd trying to get in.

A community with a remarkably low cost of living for all of the comforts and attractions it affords, St. Louis is a big city with the convenience and sense of connectedness of a smaller one.

Visiting the city's nationally acclaimed Zoo costs - nothing (thanks to the taxpayers and philanthropists). The Art Museum, the History Museum, the Science Center cost - nothing. The charges for the Symphony and the Missouri Botanical Garden are all highly reasonable.

Not only is the price right - you can get there. St. Louis is a "20-minute city," where most of the attractions are within a reasonable distance from most of the people. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Greater St. Louis has been consistently ranked  below the national average commute time to work.

Availability, accessibility - these are characteristics of the region in general. St. Louis is open, in the broadest sense of the word. Whatever role you want to play here - in civic affairs or any other aspect of life - you'll get a friendly, appreciative welcome.

Overall, St. Louis has a sanity about it that's increasingly difficult to find. St. Louis has a balance and degree of comfort that are absolutely exceptional among cities that also offer the kind of world-class assets this community features. There is a sense of community, a connectedness among its people, that arises from its Midwestern personality, manageable scale, and deep history.

For companies and their employees, that's a winning combination.

St. Louis is also a community of big hearts.  United Way contributions are regularly among the highest in the country.  A 2016 study by Charity Navigator found that St. Louis was ranked 3rd on the Most Charitable Cities list, according to charities' financial health and commitment to accountability. The report states that, "the largest charities in St. Louis are generally richer in working capital and have lower liability to asset ratios than charities in other parts of the country."

The climate of the St. Louis area is like the character of the region: balanced. St. Louis enjoys the advantages of four full seasons with few extremes.

  • Spring arrives generally in mid-March and is spectacular.
  • Fall is equal to anything to be found in New England, but longer — sometimes extending even into November.
  • Summers are warm and sometimes hot — we admit it — with only the occasional long spell of excessive temperatures, and on a par with many mid-latitude communities.
  • Winters are relatively short and mild, with cold spells always interrupted by milder temperatures and just enough snowfalls to satisfy children and romantics.

Throughout the year various publications and organizations publish an array of rankings and reports regarding crime statistics.  Sometimes they appear under the attention-grabbing headline of “Most Dangerous Cities” and paint large geographic areas with a very broad brush.  And, we know, these rankings sometimes portray St. Louis unfavorably. 


But here’s the truth.  A recent Gallup Survey reports 74% of St. Louisans feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where they live, which makes us the 14th safest metro among the 50 largest MSAs.  Our partners at the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission have done an excellent job of putting all this in context.  Please click here for a detailed overview of how these rankings are gathered and how St. Louis really fares.

Find out a few reasons why St. Louis has been recently noticed for its exceptional quality of life:  

  • The St. Louis region ranked No. 3 in the country for library services on the 2015 "America's Most Literate Cities" study published by Central Connecticut State University. In addition, St. Louis was named the 10th most literate city overall for 2015, based on six key indicators of literacy, which included newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources.
  • According to a study published by the Corporation for National & Community Service, St. Louis had a volunteer rate of 25.4% in 2015, with more than 500,000 adult volunteers contributing an average of 74.1 million hours of service.


St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission
St. Louis MSA Quality of Life