East St. Louis is a city in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States within Greater St. Louis. It is located directly across the Mississippi River from Downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch National Park. East St. Louis is in what is defined as the Metro-East region of Southern Illinois. Once a bustling industrial center, like many cities in the Rust Belt, East St. Louis has been severely affected by loss of jobs due to industrial restructuring during the second half of the 20th century. In 1950, East St. Louis was the fourth-largest city in Illinois when its population peaked at 82,366. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 27,006, less than one-third of the 1950 census.
East St. Louis is located at 38°37′N 90°8′W / 38.617°N 90.133°W / 38.617; -90.133 (38.616,-90.133).
According to the 2010 census, East St. Louis has a total area of 14.37 square miles (37.22 km), of which 13.99 square miles (36.23 km) (or 97.36%) is land and 0.38 square miles (0.98 km) (or 2.64%) is water.
East St. Louis usually has cold winters and hot summers. On July 14, 1954, the temperature in East St. Louis allegedly reached 117 °F (48 °C), the highest temperature ever recorded in Illinois. It is not considered a formal record, however, as the city had no weather station.
As of the census of 2000, there were 31,542 people, 11,178 households, and 7,668 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,242.9 people per square mile (866.2/km). There were 12,899 housing units at an average density of 917.2 per square mile (354.2/km). The racial makeup of the city was 97.74% Black or African-American, 1.23% White, 0.19% Native American, 0.08% Asian-American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.73% of the population.
There were 11,178 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.9% were married couples living together, 40.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.80 and the average family size was 4.02.
In the city, the population was spread out with 32.8% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $21,324, and the median income for a family was $24,567. Males had a median income of $27,864 versus $21,850 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,169. About 31.8% of families and 35.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 48.6% of those under the age of 18 and 25.2% of those 65 ages and older.