UMSL political scientist Todd Swanstrom weighs in on population migration within the St. Louis metropolitan region for a recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch article. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The population of St. Louis County has decreased over the last decade. And it’s not just people leaving the county. About $3.41 billion of resident income went with them, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The newspaper reported that most of that migration occurred within the St. Louis metropolitan region. Todd Swanstrom, the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, told the Post-Dispatch that this is driven by “push and pull” factors.

“People are being pulled to places by markets,” Swanstrom said in the May 29 article. “That’s what drew people to suburbs. People were attracted by larger, more modern homes with big yards.”

He also explained that other factors could push people out of their communities such as crime, poverty and struggling schools.

Swanstrom is the co-author of “Place Matters: Metropolitics for the Twenty-first Century,” which examines the relationship between urban decline and suburban sprawl. His current research focuses on metropolitan approaches to equity and theories of regional network governance. He holds a joint appointment at UMSL with the Public Policy Research Center, Department of Political Science and Public Policy Administration program.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz