• Greater St. Louis Standard of Living Ranked 7th Highest Among Largest Metros

    Oct 20, 2017

    A new report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis provides further details on a new way to measure standards of living, termed Regional Price Parities (RPP). RPPs compare price level differences, and thus cost of living between states or metro areas.

    St. Louis enjoys a significantly lower cost of living compared to U.S. averages, especially for an area its size. Cost of living indexes provide information about quality of life and general living standards. These indexes are useful for measuring how much an individual can consume. The most well-known cost of living index is the ACCRA Cost of Living Index (COLI) produced by the Council for Community and Economic Research. The COLI measures the relative cost of U.S. metropolitan areas. The following table includes cost index components for the St. Louis, MO-IL metro area. 

    Cost of Living – St. Louis, MO-IL MSA, 2016 Average

    Metro Area

    100% Composite Index

    Grocery Items




    Health Care

    Misc. Goods and Services

    St. Louis








    Note:  U.S. metro average cost of living = 100.
    Source:  “ACCRA Cost of Living Index, 2016 Average Annual Data” Council for Community and Economic Research, Jan. 2017.

    Regional Price Parities are spatial price indexes used to compare costs across different areas, like the ACCRA Cost of Living Index. However, the RPP is better suited to adjusting income for cost of living.

    In 2015, Missouri’s RPP was 89.3, more than ten percent below the national average of 100. The St. Louis region has an RPP of 90.6, considerably below the national average.

    Standards of living can also be measured by per capita personal income. In 2015, the Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked metro areas according to per capita personal income. The region’s per capita personal income in chained 2009 dollars was $44,715 and ranked 67th out of all U.S. metro areas in 2015. However, when adjusted for RPPs, the region’s per capita personal income increased to $49,598, ranking 20th. “On an RPP-adjusted basis, per capita personal income in St. Louis jumped from 1.6 percent above the national average to 12.7 percent above the national average” (1). An article on the report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis stated, “St. Louis has the seventh highest standard of living among 53 U.S. metro areas with populations of more than 1 million” (2).

    Sources: (1) “Living Standards in St. Louis and the Eighth Federal Reserve District: Let’s Get Real” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, 2017. (2) “St. Louis Standard of Living Ranked 7th Among Large U.S. Metros” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 7, 2017. 


  • St. Louis Minority Business Council Ends Certification to Focus on Building Up St. Louis’ Minority Businesses

    Sep 15, 2017

    The St. Louis Minority Business Council LLC, powered by the St. Louis Regional Chamber, announced today the organization has phased out its minority business certification services to focus on strategic efforts to advocate and build capacity for St. Louis regional minority-owned businesses. The Council will be transitioning from a minority business enterprise certification-centered organization to a participatory membership model. A new focus of support, advocacy and education will be sustained through programs, events and services that further the mission to support economic inclusion and development of the diverse business community in the St. Louis region.

    The new focus areas include but are not limited to:

    1. Acting as a regional resource for all diverse companies.
    2. Ending duplication of services (certification, events, programming, etc.) among various organizations.
    3. Providing capacity building programs for minority-owned business and their partners.
    4. Developing a company ranking program and other strategies to celebrate supplier diversity and help grow minority businesses.
    5. Targeting strategies for minority business and corporate relationship building.
    6. Developing a regional construction catalog and strategies on how you can get involved, and more.

    “Building capacity and helping grow minority businesses is a major economic development issue for the St. Louis region,” said Joe Reagan, President & CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. “We need all of our region’s business to have the right tools, relationships and opportunities to create more jobs, and attract investment and talent to St. Louis. The Minority Business Council’s new focus areas will help us create more economic opportunities and support a stronger business community.”

    The St. Louis Minority Business Council LLC merged under the St. Louis Regional Chamber in 2015, but maintains its own board of directors, governance and mission.

    For additional information about the Council and its services, please contact the St. Louis Minority Business Council Program Manager, Lakesha Mathis at (314) 444-1165.