kids encyclopedia robot

St. Joseph, Missouri facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
St. Joseph, Missouri
City of St. Joseph
Downtown St. Joseph in 2006
Downtown St. Joseph in 2006
St. Joe
Location in the state of Missouri
Location in the state of Missouri
U.S. Census Map
U.S. Census Map
Country United States
State Missouri
County Buchanan, Andrew
 • Total 44.82 sq mi (116.09 km2)
 • Land 44.03 sq mi (114.04 km2)
 • Water 0.79 sq mi (2.05 km2)
 • Total 72,473
 • Density 1,700.51/sq mi (656.57/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 816
FIPS code 29-64550
Interstates I-29 (MO).svg I-229.svg Business Loop 29.svg
U.S. Routes US 36.svg US 59.svg US 71.svg US 169.svg
State routes MO-6.svg MO-371.svg MO-752.svg MO-759.svg

St. Joseph is a city in and the county seat of Buchanan County, Missouri. Small parts of St. Joseph extend into Andrew County. Located on the Missouri River, it is the principal city of the St. Joseph Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Buchanan, Andrew, and DeKalb counties in Missouri and Doniphan County, Kansas. As of the 2020 census, St. Joseph had a total population of 72,473, making it the eighth largest city in the state, and the third largest in Northwest Missouri. St. Joseph is located roughly thirty miles north of the Kansas City, Missouri, city limits and approximately 125 miles south of Omaha, Nebraska.

The city was named after the town's founder Joseph Robidoux and the biblical Saint Joseph. St. Joseph is home to Missouri Western State University. It is the birthplace of 20th-century rapper and songwriter Eminem, who grew up in and has made his career in Detroit, Michigan. In the nineteenth century, it was the death place of guerrilla Jesse James. It was the starting point of the Pony Express serving the West.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 8,932
1870 19,565 119.0%
1880 32,431 65.8%
1890 52,324 61.3%
1900 102,979 96.8%
1910 77,403 −24.8%
1920 77,939 0.7%
1930 80,935 3.8%
1940 75,711 −6.5%
1950 78,588 3.8%
1960 79,035 0.6%
1970 72,748 −8.0%
1980 76,691 5.4%
1990 71,852 −6.3%
2000 73,990 3.0%
2010 76,780 3.8%
2020 72,473 −5.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 76,780 people, 29,727 households, and 18,492 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,745.4 inhabitants per square mile (673.9/km2). There were 33,189 housing units at an average density of 754.5 per square mile (291.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.8% White, 6.0% Black, 0.5% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2.0% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.

There were 29,727 households, of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.8% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.6% under the age of 18; 11.7% between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.1% from 25 to 44; 24.9% from 45 to 64; and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age in the city was 35.6 years. The gender makeup of the city was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.

1900 census

During the 1900 census, efforts by local officials, business leaders, and other city boosters to show rapid growth led to double-counting. The actual population in 1900 is believed to be closer to 75,000-80,000.


Public schools

The St. Joseph School District operates three public high schools, four public middle schools and 16 public elementary schools in St. Joseph. There are three private grade schools, a private high school and a private K-12 Christian school. Two new elementary schools (Oak Grove and Carden Park) have been constructed, and both opened by the 2014–15 academic year. In addition, there is an active home education community that serves the city and surrounding areas. In higher education, St. Joseph is the home of a regional public university as well as a public university outreach center, a public technical school and a private technical school.

Private schools

  • Bishop LeBlond High School
  • Cathedral Grade School
  • St. Francis Xavier Grade School
  • St. James Grade School
  • St. Joseph Christian School
  • St. Paul Lutheran School
  • Prescott Seventh-Day Adventist School

Colleges and universities

  • Missouri Western State University

Special focus institutions

  • American College of Technology
  • Hillyard Technical Center
    • Webster Learning Center


St. Joseph has a four-branch public library system. The system is overseen by the Library Board which consists of nine members appointed by the mayor, with city council approval, for three-year terms. The Downtown Library, located in downtown St. Joseph, houses the administrative offices for the library system. Carnegie Library and Washington Park Library are neighborhood branches that serve communities in the North and South ends of the city. East Hills Library is the largest branch, located off Interstate 29, which serves the greater St. Joseph area. Downtown Library and Carnegie Library were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and 1990 respectively.


The St. Joseph Transit is publicly owned and provides bus service. Rosecrans Memorial Airport is a joint municipal/military owned airport for general aviation. It is the home of the 139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard, and does not have commercial service. The nearest commercial airport is Kansas City International Airport, which is approximately 35 miles (56 km) to the south.

The city is served by two Interstate highways, one proposed interstate, and four U.S. Routes:

In addition, four state routes serve the city:

  • Route 6
  • Route 371
  • Route 752
  • Route 759

Notable people

Images for kids

Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
kids search engine
St. Joseph, Missouri Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.