The images coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, this week have been shocking: police in riot gear lined up across from angry protesters, candlelight vigils held for an unarmed teen shot dead by a police officer, and tear gas filling the streets.
But before the city of Ferguson was embroiled in turmoil over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the city's majority of African-American, moderate-income residents were used to daily life consisting of summer concerts, July 4th parades, and a weekly food truck festival. Though the city has a high percentage of residents living below the poverty line, it also has a majority of residents who own their own homes.
Ferguson, Missouri, Fact Sheet
- 6.19 square miles
- 12 Miles to downtown St. Louis, including Busch Stadium and the St. Louis Arch.
- 5 Miles to St. Louis International Airport.
- 15,115 adults
- 6,088 children
- 88 percent of residents have high school degree or higher; 23 percent have a Bachelor's Degree or higher.
- Median income: $37,500, about $10,000 less than the Missouri state median.
- Percent living below poverty level: 22 percent.
- 14,297 African American
- 6,206 White
- 260 Hispanic
- 187 Other
- 4,891 homes are owner-occupied.
- 3,301 homes are renter-occupied.
- Median home value of owner-occupied homes: $95,000.
- Three properties use low-income housing tax credits, providing 22 units.
- 53 officers.
- 3 African American officers.
- 3 female officers.
- 2 Pacific Islander officers.
- 1 Hispanic officer.
- January Wabash Park: an historical park that contains the most heavily fished urban lakes in Missouri.
- Ferguson Station Depot: the historic rail and streetcar depot has been restored and acts as a town center.
- Citywalk: Ferguson's downtown commercial district, with 10 blocks of retail and eateries and home to concerts, community festivals and art shows.