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Economic Perspectives, 9, No. July/August, 1985
Metro Metrics
The 1984 edition of an influential survey by Sales and Marketing Management ranked St. Louis, 20th in the nation in buying power. Today St. Louis would rank tenth. Such an astonishing jump should be classed as an economic miracle especially for an aging midwestern city like St. Louis. But St. Louis' sudden rise actually was accomplished by an Act of Congress when Senator John C. Danforth, (R., Mo.) attached an amendment to an omnibus pending bill to change the census designation of St. Louis from Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMS) to Metropolitan Statistial Area (MSA). With the stroke of a pen, the city regained its suburbs and satellite cities and its national ranking. It was a triumph of metropolitan statistical fact of life over the misplaced municipal pride that had led St. Louis to ask to be counted alone in 1983.


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