ST. LOUIS – New Census figures show that the City of St. Louis continues to deal with a population drop. The decline is slower than recent years, but still ranks among the nation’s worst, per Census.

The U.S. Census Bureau officially published its 2023 population estimates on Thursday morning.

According to the data, St. Louis had a reported population of 281,754 residents as of July 1, 2023.

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Census figures showed that St. Louis’ population dipped below 300,000 near the start of the 2020s decade. The city has lost an average of around 6,000 residents in each of the last three years.

According to Census figures, St. Louis’ population declined from around 286,000 residents in 2022, a drop of roughly 1.5%. It’s a modest improvement from the two previous Census cycles, when St. Louis reported drops above 2%.

That said, the city’s 1.5% population decrease still ranked among the nation’s worst. Of cities with at least 200,000 residents, only New Orleans (1.6% drop) finished worse.

Among 1,875 incorporated communities with at least 20,000 residents that Census ranked in population percentage gains and losses, St. Louis finished 23rd from the bottom in percentage loss.

FOX 2 explored St. Louis population trends more in-depth last year. Census figures revealed that the City of St. Louis has lost more than half of its population over the last 50 years, though the number of people living in the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area has not dramatically changed. Trends also pointed to a rise in most suburban St. Louis counties over the last several decades, especially west of St. Louis.