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Florissant ( ( listen)) is a second-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in northern St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The city had a total population of 52,158 in the 2010 census, making it the 12th-largest city in Missouri.
The exact date the first settlers went to the Valley of Florissant is unknown, but it is one of the oldest settlements in the state of Missouri. Some historians believe it was settled about the same time as St. Louis. The first civil government was formed in 1786. Spanish archives in Havana reveal there were 40 people and seven plantations in Florissant at the time of the 1787 census. The village, called "Fleurissant," or "Blooming" in English, by its French settlers and "St. Ferdinand" by its Spanish rulers, was a typical French village with its commons and common fields. Originally a separate town, and now an inner suburb of St. Louis, the community was centered on (and frequently called after) the parish of St. Ferdinand. As late as 1889, the town was predominantly French-speaking (while the southern portion of the metropolis was populated by German-speakers). The first train line to the area was constructed in 1878 – an extension of the line which went from St. Louis City to Normandy. The last train to Florissant ran on November 14, 1931.
Following World War II, Florissant went from a small village community to a large suburban center, as developers such as Alfred H. Mayer Co. and others began building subdivisions on what was formerly farmland and empty acreage. Approximately 18,000 houses were built between 1947 and 1980, and the population swelled to its peak of about 76,000 in the mid 1970s, making it the largest city in St. Louis County.
James J. Eagan was mayor of Florissant for 37 years from 1963 until his death on November 2, 2000. He was re-elected into office 9 times, and became one of the longest serving Mayors of any city in the United States. In his final year, he was awarded the title of Best Politician in St. Louis by the Riverfront Times. The civic center off Parker Road is named the James J. Eagan Community Center in his memory.
In 2012, Florissant was ranked 76 in Money Magazine's top 100 list of Best Places to Live – America's Best Small Cities. In 2014, Florissant ranked as the #1 Best Small City to Retire To in America and the 2nd Safest City in Missouri.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.87 square miles (33.33 km2), of which, 12.56 square miles (32.53 km2) is land and 0.31 square miles (0.80 km2) is water.
At the 2010 census, there were 52,158 people, 21,247 households and 13,800 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,152.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,603.4/km2). There were 22,632 housing units at an average density of 1,801.9 per square mile (695.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.3% White, 26.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.0% of the population.
There were 21,247 households of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.0% were non-families. 29.9% 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 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00.
The median age in the city was 38 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 25.8% were from 45 to 64; and 15.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.8% male and 53.2% female.
At the 2000 census, there were 50,497 people, 20,399 households and 13,687 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,442.4 per square mile (1,714.8/km²). There were 21,027 housing units at an average density of 1,849.8 per square mile (714.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.66% White, 10.51% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 1.49% of the population.
There were 20,399 households of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.01.
24.7% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.
The median household income was $44,462 and the median family income was $52,195. Males had a median income of $37,434 compared with $27,247 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,622. About 2.7% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 3.7% of those age 65 or over.
Florissant is covered by the Hazelwood and Ferguson-Florissant public school districts. McCluer North High School and McCluer High School of the Ferguson-Florissant School District, and North Technical High School are high schools in Florissant. Hazelwood Central is the only high school in Florissant belonging to the Hazelwood School District. Hazelwood Northwest Middle School and several elementary schools are within the limits.
North County Christian School is a pre-school to grade 12 Christian school that is theologically associated with the Church of the Nazarene.
There are several kindergarten through 8th grade parochial schools in Florissant. These include Atonement Lutheran School, Sacred Heart, St. Ferdinand, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne and Saint Norbert.
Florissant has two theological colleges, an extension campus and barber college. Saint Louis Christian College is a private four year undergraduate institution that is theologically and ecclesiastically associated with the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. Urshan College (formerly Gateway College of Evangelism) and Urshan Graduate School of Theology are located at the former St. Stanislaus Jesuit seminary and are operated by the United Pentecostal Church International. Lindenwood University has its offsite North County Campus located in the former Our Lady of Fatima School. Missouri School of Barbering and Hairstyling-St Louis is also located in Florissant.
Florissant Valley Community College and University of Missouri-St. Louis are located in close proximity to the city.
St. Louis County Library operates the Florissant Valley Branch in Florissant.
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