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Ferguson is a city in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. It is part of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. The population was 21,203 at the 2010 census.
What is now the city of Ferguson was founded in 1855 when William B. Ferguson deeded 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land to the Wabash Railroad in exchange for a new depot and naming rights. The settlement that sprang up around the depot was called Ferguson Station. Ferguson was the first railroad station connected directly to St. Louis. The station is a focal point of the city's history and is depicted on the city flag, designed in 1994.
Ferguson's first schoolhouse was built in 1878. Ferguson was incorporated as a city in 1894.
Emerson Electric moved its headquarters to Ferguson during the 20th century.
Ferguson made frequent worldwide headlines for months following the killing of Michael Brown Jr. by a white police officer and the ensuing civil unrest.
The population of Ferguson grew rapidly during the late nineteenth century. In 1880 the population of the then Ferguson Station was 185 people. By 1890 the population was recorded as being 750 and only four years later it had increased to 1200.
The population of Ferguson continued to grow rapidly during the first six decades of the twentieth century, from 1,015 people in 1900 to 22,149 people in 1960, an average growth rate of 5% per year. Since 1960 the population has remained nearly constant.
The ethnic composition of Ferguson has shifted, however. In 1970, 99% of the population of Ferguson was white and 1% black. In 1980, the proportion of white residents went down to 85%, whereas the proportion of blacks rose to 14%. In 1990, residents of Ferguson who were identified in the U.S. Census as white comprised 73.8% of the total, while those identified as black made up 25.1%. The remainder, 1.1%, identified with other racial categories. In the 2000 U.S. Census, 44.7% were white and 52.4% were African-American, now the majority ethnicity.
A recent investigation found that the Ferguson Police Department had outstanding arrest warrants for more than two thirds of the citizens, mostly for trivial offenses.
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 21,203 people, 8,192 households, and 5,500 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,425.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,322.6/km2). There were 9,105 housing units at an average density of 1,470.9 per square mile (567.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 67.4% Black, 29.3% White, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.4% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic and Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.
There were 8,192 households of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.6% were married couples living together, 31.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.9% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.12.
The median age in the city was 33.1 years. 28.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.2% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 10.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 44.8% male and 55.2% female.
There are 19 Christian denominations present in Ferguson.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.20 square miles (16.06 km2), of which 6.19 square miles (16.03 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
Ferguson has a humid subtropical-continental climate. Winters are cold, while summers are hot and humid. The record high is 115 °F, and the record low is −19 °F.
The city is home to the headquarters of Emerson Electric.
The Mayor of Ferguson is directly elected for a three-year term. The Ferguson city council is composed of six members.
James Knowles III was elected mayor for a 3-year term in April 2011 and ran unopposed in April 2014. Voter turnout in the April 2014 mayoral election was approximately 12%.
The Ferguson Police Department is involved with the following public programs: Business Watch, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), D.A.R.E. Program, Neighborhood Watch, School Resource Officers, and Riot Patrol.
Ferguson also operates a two-station firehouse with a complement of 18 full-time firefighters as well as 9 senior management officials. The fire stations operate 24 hours a day.
On March 4, 2015, the Ferguson Police Department was criticized by the United States Department of Justice for civil rights violations. The Department of Justice argued that the Ferguson Police Department and the City of Ferguson relied on unconstitutional practices in order to balance the city's budget through racially motivated excessive fines and punishments.
On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson stated he was willing to resign, likely later that day (though no timeframe was confirmed) if he could get assurances that the Ferguson Police Department would be left in place and would not be dissolved; Fox News said he was not pushed out or fired. His resignation followed City Manager John Shaw who resigned March 10, and Municipal Judge Ronald Brockmeyer who resigned March 9. Shaw had ultimate oversight over the Police Department and other city departments and was the most powerful civic official in Ferguson. He faced criticism for not doing enough to ameliorate the situation. The week before, three Ferguson Police Department employees were fired for offensive emails mentioned in the Justice Department report.
On August 9, 2014, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American teenager, Michael Brown, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white policeman with the Ferguson Police Department. The incident sparked protests and acts of vandalism in Ferguson as well as widespread calls for an investigation into the incident. On August 10, after a day of vigils, there were looting of businesses, arson, vandalism of vehicles, shots fired at firemen and violent clashes between protestors and police. On August 18, soldiers from the Missouri National Guard arrived in Ferguson at the request of the Governor of Missouri Jay Nixon, who also ended midnight to 5:00 a.m. curfews that had been imposed. On November 24, a grand jury decided that it would not indict Wilson in the shooting death of Brown. Following the announcement of the grand jury's decision, there were peaceful protests as well as rioting.
St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, which has about 8,000 students, is located in Ferguson.
The following public schools, all part of the Ferguson-Florissant School District, are located within the city of Ferguson:
The following private schools are located within the city of Ferguson:
Ferguson is also home to the Challenger Learning Center – St. Louis, which provides a space education program.
The Ferguson Municipal Public Library is one of several independent community libraries in St. Louis County and is a member of the Municipal Library Consortium of St. Louis County.
This list may include persons born in the community, past residents, and current residents.
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