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Clayton, Missouri
Downtown Clayton.jpg
Location in Missouri
Location in Missouri
U.S. Census Map
U.S. Census Map
Country United States
State Missouri
County St. Louis
Settled 1877
Incorporated 1913
 • Type Mayor-council city
 • Total 2.51 sq mi (6.50 km2)
 • Land 2.51 sq mi (6.50 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
564 ft (172 m)
 • Total 17,355
 • Density 6,914/sq mi (2,670/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (Central)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 314
FIPS code 29-14572
GNIS feature ID 0755896
Website City of Clayton

Clayton is a city in and the seat of St. Louis County, Missouri. It borders the city of St. Louis. The population was 15,939 at the 2010 census. Organized in 1877, the city was named after Ralph Clayton, who donated the land for the St. Louis County courthouse.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.48 square miles (6.42 km2), all of it land.


The architecture of central Clayton reflects its economic activity and eras of growth. An impressive collection of mid-century Modernist low and high rise structures contrast with earlier mansions, stores and flats.

View of Clayton skyline from Brentwood, October 2014.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 402
1920 3,028
1930 9,613 217.5%
1940 13,069 36.0%
1950 16,035 22.7%
1960 15,245 −4.9%
1970 16,100 5.6%
1980 14,219 −11.7%
1990 13,874 −2.4%
2000 12,825 −7.6%
2010 15,939 24.3%
2020 17,355 8.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

In the St. Louis region, Clayton is well known for housing a wealthy and educated young professional, often dual-income population.

2020 census

As of 2020, there were 17,355 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 71.4% White, 8.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 12.9% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 6.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.0% of the population.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 15,939 people, 5,322 households, and 2,921 families living in the city. The population density was 6,427.0 inhabitants per square mile (2,481.5/km2). There were 6,321 housing units at an average density of 2,548.8 per square mile (984.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 78.0% White, 8.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 10.8% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.

There were 5,322 households, of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.1% were non-families. 37.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.86.

The median age in the city was 29.2 years. 15.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 27.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.3% were from 25 to 44; 21.6% were from 45 to 64; and 11.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.9% male and 49.1% female.


The city's neighborhoods include Claverach Park, Clayton Gardens, Clayshire, DeMun, Davis Place, Hillcrest, Moorlands, Old Town, Downtown Clayton, Polo, Wydown Forest, Wydown Terrace, Forsyth and Washington University.


Clayton's downtown business district has numerous art galleries, boutiques and fine restaurants, and European-style outdoor cafes. Also, well-known actor Kevin Kline grew up in the suburbs of Davis Place. And so did Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame.


Public transportation

MetroLink Passing Clayton
A Blue Line MetroLink train bound for Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44 station passes by downtown Clayton. The train is travelling in the median of Forest Park Parkway.

Clayton is served by the MetroLink light rail system. The city has two stations along the Blue Line: Clayton, and Forsyth. Metro also operates bus services in Clayton.

Major roads and highways

Major roads and highways in Clayton include Interstate 170, Brentwood Boulevard, Hanley Road, and Forest Park Parkway. Old Bonhomme (renamed Forsythe Boulevard when it changes from north–south to east–west direction) in North Clayton is an ancient Native American trail. Wydown Boulevard in Clayton was called one of the nation's most dignified streets in the AIA Architecture Guide to St. Louis.

Transit centers

  • Clayton Transit Center


Armstrong Teasdale, Caleres (owner of Famous Footwear and, Cassidy Turley, Centene, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Graybar, Olin, and Straub's Markets are headquartered in Clayton. The unemployment rate in 2020 was 2.2%.

Top employers

According to the city's 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Centene 2,441
2 St. Louis County 1,573
3 Enterprise Holdings 956
4 Washington University 723
5 Commerce Bank 562
6 Caleres (Brown Shoe Co.) 503
7 School District of Clayton 486
8 Husch Blackwell 389
9 Ernst & Young 348
10 RubinBrown 332



Washington University in St. Louis is partially located in Clayton. The city is also home to Fontbonne University and Concordia Seminary of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

Primary and secondary schools

The city's public schools are operated by the School District of Clayton. Its three public elementary schools are Glenridge Elementary School in the Moorlands neighborhood, Captain Elementary School in the DeMun neighborhood near Concordia Seminary, and Meramec Elementary School in Davis Place. These schools feed into Wydown Middle School on Wydown Boulevard, across from Washington University, which feeds into Clayton High School, next to Shaw Park near downtown Clayton.

Several of Clayton's elementary schools have been closed or repurposed. Gay School is now the Clayton Family Center; Maryland School has been leased to a series of daycare/elementary organizations; DeMun School burned in a fire and was replaced by Ralph M. Captain Elementary; and, after Brown v. Board of Education abolished segregated schools, Crispus Attucks School in downtown Clayton was demolished and replaced with an office building.

Public libraries

St. Louis County Library operates the Mid-County Branch in Clayton, which was rebuilt and reopened on September 4, 2020.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Clayton (Misuri) para niños

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