St. Joseph is ranked as one of the top 100 leading locations for 2014 from Area Development magazine, including being in the top 20 in the Top Small Cities and Top Midwest Cities lists.


The Numbers Show Why Businesses Choose St. Joseph:

Why is St. Joseph, Mo., both near and perfect? With a population of 76,780, St. Joseph, Mo., is in the center of an active business Midwestern business region, just minutes from the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area and Topeka, Kan., among other cities in a progressive bi-state region.


Key attributes of St. Joseph, Mo., include:

  • Uniquely positioned within 500 miles of 44 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing establishments, and just 200 miles from the nation’s population center
  • St. Joseph is in the center of retail strength from the Northwest Missouri 19-county region, with retail demand exceeding $3 billion; the City also draws from an active labor force and the business power of nearby Kansas City, Mo. Within just one hour from St. Joseph, retail establishments number more than 7,100, with a total potential of $9,005,626,017.
  • St. Joseph is a nationally-recognized leader in animal health and life sciences, and a pivotal component of the KC Animal Health Corridor – where nearly one-third (32 percent) of the $19 billion global animal health industry is located.
  • Low-cost utilities and overall low cost of business, compared to other similar-sized cities; short work commute time and strong network of business leaders
  • The city is built upon a regional workforce drawing from strong Midwestern work ethic and historical agricultural innovation, including long-time linkages to several neighboring rural communities that help provide a dedicated, passionate labor base to St. Joseph.

Demographic Highlights, St. Joseph, Mo.:

St. Joseph is the largest city in Northwest Missouri, serving as the county seat for Buchanan County. As of the 2010 census, St. Joseph had a total population of 76,197, making it the eighth largest city in the state.

  • City of St. Joseph: 76,780
  • Buchanan County population: 89,201
  • Total St. Joseph Metropolitan Population: 128,053
  • Retail Trade Potential, St. Joseph Metropolitan Area: $1,006,384,503

Median Household Income, Buchanan County, Mo:
$ 44,363
Source: U.S. Census

Average Buchanan County Wage:
Source: Missouri Department of Economic Development

Average Commute Time: 16 minutes


Population by Age Group, Buchanan County:
Age: Population:
19 and Under 23,736
20 – 34 18,937
35 – 54 23,771
55 – 74 16,600
75 and Older 6,157


Education Rates, Buchanan County:
High School Diploma: 25,632
Associate’s Degree 6,971
Bachelor’s Degree: 8,263
Graduate Degree: 3,987
Total workforce with educational degrees: 44,853


Population by Race

Caucasian 89.1%
African American 5.2%
Hispanic 5.2%
Other 1.8%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.3%
Asian, Pacific Islander 1.0%

Total is greater than 100 percent because Hispanics are included in other ethnic groups.


Low Cost of Living
St. Joseph ranks considerably lower in cost of living compared to other cities. According to the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) cost of living index tool, including grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services, St. Joseph has a ranking of 92.6 percent. In comparison, Kansas City, Mo., has a cost of living index of 98.1. Boston has a cost of living index of 133.9, and Los Angeles is 135.9.


Quality, Affordable Housing Sets St. Joseph Apart
St. Joseph consistently rates as one of the most affordable housing markets among cities with populations in the 75,000- 100,000 range. The median list price for a single family home in St. Joseph is $125,000. Several exciting renovated loft options are available in the city’s downtown and uptown area, as well as attractive and affordable housing options in historic and National Register neighborhoods.


Missouri Individual Income Tax Rate: Missouri’s individual income tax rates are graduated from a low of 1/1/2 percent on a taxable incomes of $1,000 or less, to a high of $315 plus 6 percent on taxable income in excess of $9,000. Taxable income may be reduced by 100 percent of federal income tax payments, $1,200 for each dependent, $2,100 for each personal exemption, and by the federal standard deduction or Missouri itemized deduction.


Missouri Corporate Income Tax Rate: Lower than Most States
State law sets the corporate income tax rate at 6.25 percent of net taxable income earned by a business in Missouri. This is lower than most of the 46 states by imposing a corporate income tax. In addition, Missouri allows 50 percent of federal income tax payments to be deducted before computing taxable income.


St. Joseph is perfectly positioned, just 35 minutes north of the KCI Airport and at the crossroads of several major thoroughfares, including Interstates 29 and 35 – offering access from Mexico to Canada and Ohio to Colorado. The city is set alongside the Missouri river with multi-modal barge freight and access points to major rail lines. Chartered flights are offered from Rosecrans Memorial Airport and access to several additional major Interstates, including I-70 and I-35, are just minutes away.


Workforce Characteristics
Number of Jobs in St. Joseph Metropolitan Statistical Area (non-farm) in March 2014: 62,100
Civilian labor force: 66,200


Employment by Industry
Manufacturing and production represents two of the top employer segments in St. Joseph, including global leaders in the region’s world-renowned animal health industry. Nearly 20,000 people are employed in manufacturing and production in St. Joseph and the surrounding Buchanan County. Trade, education and health services also represent industry workforce leaders, with almost 16,000 employees in these segments. Among St. Joseph’s industries included in a 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics source, the overall average wage was $38,831.


Average Wage by Industry: St. Joseph and surrounding Buchanan County, Mo.
Occupation Number of Employees Average Annual Salary
Goods Producing 11,434 $53,819
Construction 1,564 $59,711
Manufacturing 9,838 $52,888
Service Providing 28,727 $32,865
Trade, Transportation & Utilities 8,622 $30,463
Financial Activities 2,007 $44,115
Professional & Business Services 4,428 $33,966
Education & Health Services 7,228 $45,528
Leisure & Hospitality 4,723 $13,343


Retail Strength: The St. Joseph Metropolitan Area is Near Kansas City, But Strong In Its Own Development

Within just the St. Joseph metropolitan area (not including Kansas City), the total retail potential is valued at $1,006,384,503 for a population of 126,319. There are nearly 1,000 retail establishments in the St. Joseph metropolitan area alone.

The St. Joseph metropolitan area is part of a strong greater trade area existing as a hub of retail growth and acting as transportation, manufacturing and distribution partner with the Kansas City region – but remaining strong on its own.

Within the 17 county Northwest Missouri region, total retail trade demand is $3,003,111,629. This active region includes more than 2,600 businesses.

For an ESRI report on the St. Joseph Metropolitan Area, click here. For more information contact Rebecca Lobina, Regional Director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center, at , or (816) 364-4105.

St. Joseph Labor Basin Labor Analysis – 2015

The St. Joseph Labor Basin includes eight counties in Missouri and Kansas: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb, Doniphan, Holt, and Platte. This report assesses the “Available Labor Pool” in this labor basin. The “Available Labor Pool” represents those who indicate they are looking for a new job or are interested in a new job given the right employment opportunities. You can download the report here.

The data contained in this website is for information purposes.  Although steps have been taken to guard its accuracy and up-to-date nature, the St. Joseph Metro Chamber assumes no legal responsibility for the informational content contained herein.