ST. LOUS – If you grew up in the St. Louis region, there’s a pretty strong chance you didn’t stray too far from home as an adult, based on U.S. Census data released this summer., an interactive database supported by the United States Census Bureau and Harvard University, recently released new data to show how far and how often people move out of their hometowns.

Figures from the St. Louis region, including more than a dozen counties from Missouri and Illinois, show that nearly 75% – or three of every four people – with upbringings in the St. Louis metropolitan area will stick around the region from their childhood to early adulthood.

Other trends revealed through the Migration Patterns database among people raised in St. Louis include…

  • Around 9.4% moved to a different region of Missouri or Illinois
  • Around 16% moved out of Missouri or Illinois
  • Kansas City was the most-frequently moved destination within Missouri or Illinois (1.6%)
  • Los Angeles was the most-frequently moved destination outside of Missouri or Illinois (0.84%)
  • The average young adult who grew up in the St. Louis region will relocate within 145 miles of their hometown, nearly 36 miles below the national average.

The Migration Patterns database also offers data on how likely a person might move from their hometown based on their parents’ income or their race and ethnicity. In most cases, someone who grew up in the St. Louis metropolitan under specific socioeconomic factors was at least 60% likely to stay around the region.

Harvard University teamed up with U.S. Census to release the database, which is sourced in an in-depth research report about young adult migration and how U.S. labor markets might affect migration trends. According to the report, around 80% of young adults migrate less than 100 miles from where they grew up. 90% migrate less than 500 miles.

The report further draws upon these patterns to explore how the benefits of local labor market growth are geographically distributed based on their childhood residence.

“The geographically concentrated nature of most migration and the small magnitude of these
migration elasticities suggest that the incidence of labor market conditions across childhood
residences is highly local,” states the report.

As for St. Louis, the Migration Patterns database also mentions that young adults moving to St. Louis are most likely grew up in other parts of Missouri or Illinois. The Edwardsville, Illinois and Chicago areas consisted of nearly 3% of the outbound moves through which someone ended up in St. Louis as a young adult.