Lunch Time

29 06 2016

Your Blogmeister’s Desk

St. Louis is the 15th worst city to live in, according to the new clickbait list that Drudge links to today:

15. St. Louis, Missouri
> Population: 317,419
> Median home value: $113,800
> Poverty rate: 28.5%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 32.0%

St. Louis is one of the most crime ridden cities in the United States. There are 6,253 property crimes — such as burglary and auto theft — for every 100,000 city residents, far more than the national annual property crime rate of 2,596 incidents per 100,000. Violent crimes, such as assault and murder, are also quite common in St. Louis. There are 1,679 violent crimes a year for every 100,000 city residents, the fifth highest violent crime rate of any city in the country.

Cities with relatively high college attainment rates tend to have higher income levels. Yet this is not the case in St. Louis. While 32.0% of city adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, higher than the 30.1% national college attainment rate, the city’s median household income is far lower than average. The typical St. Louis household earns only $35,959 a year, about $17,700 less than the typical American household. Also, St. Louis’s 28.5% poverty rate is nearly double the 15.5% national poverty rate.

Oh boy, a contradiction.  I’m up to bat.

What explains the contradiction between St. Louis City’s slightly higher than average college graduate rate and its far lower than the national median household income slash far higher than the national violent crime rate?

My theories:

(1) Lower income doesn’t matter if the cost of living is lower, and as you can see with the median home value, the cost of living in St. Louis is very reasonable.  After all, we’re not exactly a glamour metropolitan area that has an anchor to a major constituent part of the national or “global” economy.

(2) The city residents who are responsible for its slightly than higher college grad rate, younger whites gentrifying various neighborhoods and turning downtown into something that nobody ever thought Downtown St. Louis would be, a residential destination, are not the same city residents who are dragging its income median and crime rates up, that being Africanus Bellcurvius.  While young college grad city whites tend to make a lot more money than the city’s welfare blacks, they’re not making as much as their urban young college grad white counterparts in other cities, and that rolled up with the meager income of the city’s welfare blacks means that St. Louis City will have a median household income way below the national median, though like I wrote above, it’s not a disaster.

(3) There are college graduates, and there are college graduates.  Someone who has a Ph.D. in molecular biology from WU is a college graduate, someone who has a bachelor’s in black studies from Harris-Stowe is also a college graduate.  Guess which one is going to make a lot more money than the other.  I think a fair chunk of the city residents who hold “college degrees” are the latter group.


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