I think we could all use some good news in a year of bad news, so this month I’d like to share the latest about St. Charles County’s continued growth. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges and changes it presents, our economy remains strong.
- The U.S. Census estimated population is now over 400,000. St. Charles County continues to be Missouri’s fastest growing county by population growth.
- St. Charles County is setting a 3-year record for single family housing permits, with O’Fallon, St. Charles and Wentzville in the lead. Multi-family housing unit numbers continue to remain strong. Additionally, 31 commercial building permits were issued as of August 2020, a 35 percent increase over August 2019.
- Although unemployment spiked during the height of the pandemic, St. Charles County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area at 5.7 percent for August 2020; as you can see in the chart below, it is also below Missouri and the U.S. Amazon is officially the largest employer in St. Charles County, with 5,400 full-time employees at its St. Peters Fulfillment Center. FedEx recently opened its 491,000-square foot facility along the Highway 370 Logistics Corridor and plans to fill 1,200 jobs.
- St. Charles County Parks have had record-breaking attendance in 2020, reaching 3 million visitors at the end of August, and in July topped the previous record high set last year at 2.5 million. Parks staff have continuously worked to provide safe, clean and open spaces to help residents feel relief from the pandemic.
- St. Charles Community College opened its new agriculture and food science building in August after a $2.8 million renovation of the former gymnasium at their Dardenne Prairie campus. The building will house future programs in culinary arts, brewing science and nutrition, and will use the building and surrounding fields for crop research and development.
- Several major mixed-use destination developments are underway around the community, including RiverPointe in St. Charles, Streets of Caledonia in O’Fallon, and Wentzville Bend in Wentzville.
- For the fifth time, the City of St. Peters was named to Money Magazine’s 2020 List of Best Places to Live in America. It is ranked 13th in the nation and is the only Missouri city recognized this year.
And it looks like the good news is set to continue into next year: the EDC of St. Charles County is preparing for 2021 to be a major growth year in the county with more residents moving here and continued business growth, especially in manufacturing and logistics.
I’d like to extend a special thank you to the EDC and the St. Charles County Community Development Department for providing the charts and information in this article.