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a city in the central USA, in the state of Missouri; situated on the Mississippi River, below the Mississippi’s confluence with the Missouri River. Population, 560,000(1975; 2.4 million including suburbs).
A major industrial, commercial, and transportation center of the region between the Great Lakes and the West Coast, St. Louis is an important river port. Manufacturing employs 260,000 people (1973; approximately 300,000 in 1969), and mining, 3,000. The principal industries are machine building, the production of chemicals, and the food and light industries. The leading branches of the machine building industry are the aerospace industry and the production of electrical-engineering, radio-electronic, and transportation equipment and farm machinery. Oil is refined and a variety of chemicals are produced; there is also ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy. Light industry is represented by the production of leather and footwear, clothing, and fur goods, and the food industry by meat processing, flour milling, and beer brewing. Most of the oil refineries and chemical and metallurgical plants are located in the suburbs (East St. Louis, Granite City), on the left bank of the Mississippi. Lead ore is mined in the vicinity.
St. Louis has two universities. The city was founded by the French in 1764.