33 St. Louis

PopulationMetro: 2,807,338
One of the world’s top music cities is an energetic crossroads of the American dream.

Nicknamed the “Gateway to the West,” St. Louis is an iconic city for its rich history and its symbolism of American prosperity.

Not only does St. Louis have deep historical roots in this country—from the Lewis and Clark expedition to its influence in blues and hip hop—but it’s also got a bright future ahead, ranking #15 on our list for cities that are home to Fortune 500 companies and #24 for Culture.

St. Louis has always been a center for commerce, and today it has bragging rights to 10 companies that are on the Fortune 500 list, including Express Scripts, Monsanto, Emerson, and Jones Financial. In addition to great jobs, St. Louis is also attractive because of its high median household income, which is about $4,000 higher than the national average.

Place 36
Product 24
Programming 13
People 45
Prosperity 33
Promotion 10

Whether you’re just visiting or you’re a long-time local, St. Louis has no shortage of amenities to enjoy—from visiting the famous Arch, perusing the St. Louis Zoo to checking out the quirky and unusual City Museum, which is a funhouse/surrealistic architectural gem that’s made completely out of found objects.

A prosperous city always includes at least one stellar university that can churn out educated and skilled citizens, and St. Louis is no exception. Home to the prestigious Washington University and Saint Louis University, both established in the 19th century, this city prioritizes higher education, giving it a #8 ranking on our University subcategory.