Metro East
—  Region of Illinois  —
Granite City
Country  United States
State  Illinois
 • Metro 702,579

Metro East is a region in Illinois that comprises the eastern suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri, United States (US). It encompasses five Southern Illinois counties (and parts of three others) in the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area. The region's most populated city is Belleville, with 45,000 residents. The Metro East is the second largest urban area in Illinois after the Chicago metropolitan area and, as of the 2000 census, the population of the Metro East statistical area is 599,845 residents, a figure that has risen above 700,000 in 2010. The significant growth in the Metro East is mainly due to people in smaller outlying towns in Illinois and Indiana moving to the area for better job opportunity.

MetroLink in Belleville Illinois


The Metro East is a loose collection of small and mid-sized cities sitting along the American Bottom and the bluffs of the Mississippi River. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the five counties of the region have a total area of 6,974 km² (2,692 mi²). 6,787 km² (2,620 mi²) of it is land and 186 km² (71 mi²) of it (2.74%) is water.

As of the 2010 census, the most populated cities in the region include[1]

Principal cities

City populations[2]

  • 44,478
  • 29,849
  • 28,281
  • 27,865
  • 27,006
  • 26,016
  • 24,293


As of the 2010 census, there has been a major shift in population from the older rust belt industrial cities in the Mississippi River bottom, such as East St. Louis and Alton, to the more suburban satellite cities, such as, Belleville, Edwardsville, and O'Fallon sitting on the bluffs. This is mainly due to continued white flight.[3]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 599,845 people, 229,888 households, and 160,260 families residing in the five Metro-East counties.

The most common language is English, although various other languages are spoken. German speakers exist in southeastern Madison, and Clinton, and southern and eastern St. Clair Counties. Spanish is spoken in the Fairmont City area, and in parts of Clinton County. The largest concentration of African-Americans is in Madison, Venice, western Granite City, East St. Louis, Washington Park, Belleville, and Alton. Secondary languages tend to be cultural or reminiscent of ancestry, and not related to the general business of the area.

Map of Illinois highlighting Metro-East.

List of counties[]

List of cities, towns, and villages[]


  • ^ means part of city in another county(ies)
  • Bold indicates County Seat

Clinton County[]

  • Albers
  • Aviston
  • Bartelso
  • Beckemeyer
  • Breese
  • Carlyle
  • Centralia ^ (Also in Marion County)
  • Damiansville
  • Germantown
  • Huey
  • Keyesport ^ (Also in Bond County)
  • New Baden ^ (Also in St. Clair County)
  • Trenton
  • Wamac ^ (Also in Washington and Marion Counties)

Jersey County[]

  • Brighton ^ (Also in Macoupin County)
  • Chautauqua
  • Delhi
  • Dow
  • Elsah
  • Fidelity
  • Fieldon
  • Grafton
  • Jerseyville
  • Otterville

Madison County[]

  • Fairmont City ^ (Also in St. Clair County)
  • Glen Carbon
  • Godfrey
  • Granite City
  • Hamel
  • Highland
  • Livingston
  • Madison
  • Marine
  • Maryville
  • New Douglas
  • Pierron ^ (Also in Bond County)
  • Pontoon Beach
  • Roxana
  • South Roxana
  • Troy
  • Venice
  • Wood River
  • Worden

St. Clair County[]

  • Fairmont City ^ (Also in Madison County)
  • Fairview Heights
  • Fayetteville
  • Freeburg
  • Lebanon
  • Lenzburg
  • Marissa
  • Mascoutah
  • Millstadt
  • New Athens
  • O'Fallon
  • St. Libory
  • Sauget
  • Scott AFB
  • Shiloh
  • Swansea
  • Washington Park

Colleges and universities[]

  • Greenville College
  • Kaskaskia College
  • Lewis and Clark Community College
  • McKendree University
  • The Principia
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Southwestern Illinois College


State routes[]

  • Illinois Route 3
  • Illinois Route 4
  • Illinois Route 13
  • Illinois Route 15
  • Illinois Route 16
  • Illinois Route 100
  • Illinois Route 109
  • Illinois Route 111
  • Illinois Route 127
  • Illinois Route 140
  • Illinois Route 143
  • Illinois Route 153
  • Illinois Route 156
  • Illinois Route 157
  • Illinois Route 158
  • Illinois Route 159
  • Illinois Route 160
  • Illinois Route 161
  • Illinois Route 162
  • Illinois Route 163
  • Illinois Route 177
  • Illinois Route 203
  • Illinois Route 255 (An extension of I-255)
  • Illinois Route 267

U.S. routes[]

  • U.S. Route 40
  • U.S. Route 50
  • U.S. Route 51
  • U.S. Route 66 (Historical Route Designation)
  • U.S. Route 67

Interstate freeways[]

  • I-55
  • I-64
  • I-70
  • I-255
  • I-270

Light rail[]

The Metro East is connected with the Missouri by the Metro Link light rail train. The Metrolink includes 11 stations on the Illinois side of St Louis, from the East St. Louis Riverfront, through Belleville Illinois, and ending at Scott Air Force Base. It links the Metro East to downtown St. Louis, area Universities, downtown Clayton MO, and the major Commercial airport, Lambert St. Louis International.

St. Clair County (East St. Louis, Washington Park, Fairview Heights, Swansea, O'Fallon, Cahokia, Belleville, Shiloh, and Scott AFB) share public transit with the St. Louis metropolitan area, including bus and rail. Madison County has an public transit system that includes bus services and bikeways converted as part of a Rail to Trail conversion.[5]

Major employers[]

  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Boeing
  • Charter Communications
  • Scott Air Force Base
  • Monsanto
  • National Steel
  • U.S. Steel
  • Olin Corporation
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Norrenberns Trucking
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Korte Construction
  • Wood River Refinery

Tourist attractions[]

  • National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Centreville, near Belleville; operated by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
  • Brooks Catsup Bottle, Collinsville
  • Cahokia Mounds, Collinsville, on Madison-St. Clair County line
  • Confluence Crush Roller Derby, Collinsville
  • GCS Ballpark, Sauget
  • Gateway International Raceway, Madison
  • Eads Bridge Historic bridge, among East. Louis, on the East St. Louis, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri border, over the Mississippi River
  • Pere Marquette State Park, Grafton
  • Raging Rivers Water Park, Grafton
  • The Game, Glen Carbon
  • St. Clair Square Mall, Fairview Heights
  • Robert Wadlow Statue, Alton
  • Horseshoe Lake, Pontoon Beach, Madison, and Granite City
  • Alton Square Mall, Alton
  • Carlyle Lake, Carlyle

Residents, historic figures, and contributors[]

  • Craig Virgin, American Distance Runner
  • Josephine Baker, East St. Louis, performer and activist
  • Jason Boyd, Edwardsville, AAA pitcher
  • Jimmy Connors, East St. Louis and Belleville, world-famous tennis player
  • Brian Daubach, Belleville, former MLB 1B/DH/Outfielder
  • Miles Davis, East St. Louis and Alton, world-famous jazz artist
  • Elizabeth Donald, Edwardsville, horror novelist
  • Buddy Ebsen, Belleville, Television Actor
  • Jay Farrar, Belleville, musician
  • Norm Greenberg, Belleville, Metro-East television personality
  • Louis Jolliet, explorer of the Mississippi River
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee East St. Louis, World famous Olympic athlete
  • Ken Kwapis Belleville, Film/Television director and producer
  • Mark Little, Edwardsville, AAA outfielder
  • Père Jacques Marquette, French discoverer
  • Laurie Metcalf, Edwardsville, Film/Television actress (Rosanne, Uncle Buck, JFK)
  • Yadier Molina, Caseyville, Cardinals Baseball Catcher (Resides there only during baseball season, and is originally from Puerto Rico)
  • Peter Sarsgaard, Belleville/Scott AFB, Actor (Flightplan, Jarhead, Green Lantern)
  • Jeff Tweedy, Belleville, lead singer of the band Wilco
  • Uncle Tupelo, Belleville, alternative country band
  • Robert Pershing Wadlow, Alton, World's Tallest Man
  • William Holden, O'Fallon, Hollywood actor
  • Michael Stipe, Collinsville, lead singer of the band REM
  • Senator Richard J. Durbin, East St. Louis, U.S. senator
  • T. J. Mathews, Columbia, former MLB pitcher
  • Neal Cotts, Lebanon, Pitcher currently playing for the Chicago Cubs
  • Lea DeLaria, Belleville, Jazz Singer, Actress, and Comedian
  • Ray Bradbury, Belleville, Science Fiction Author
  • Scott Wolf, Belleville, Actor

Media in the Metro East[]

St. Louis Area TV stations[]

  • Note: This list is for the entire Metro-East area, however, the low-powered stations may not reach the entire 5-county Metro-East area. WSIU, despite not being based from the St. Louis DMA, is available in Clinton, Washington, and most of St. Clair.

Template:St Louis TV

Champaign-Urbana/Decatur/Springfield Area TV stations[]

  • Note: This list is for Jersey County, however, the majority of these stations are not available for most Jersey County residents. These stations are more likely to be available in Greene and Macoupin counties, which border Jersey County.


Paducah/Cape Girardeau/Harrisburg Area TV stations[]

  • Note: This list is for St. Clair, and Clinton counties, however, the majority of the stations, with the exception of WSIU and WPXS and possibly KFVS, are not available for a majority of the St. Clair, and/or Clinton County residents. These stations are more likely to be available in Washington County and the Centralia area.

Template:Paducah TV

Daily newspapers[]

  • Note: daily newspaper coverage depends on county.
  • Alton Telegraph (Madison, Jersey counties)
  • Belleville News-Democrat (region-wide)
  • Centralia Sentinel (Clinton and Washington counties)
  • Southern Illinoisan (mainly in Washington County, rarely found elsewhere in Metro-East)
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch (region wide)
  • Edwardsville Intelligencer (Madison County)

Radio stations[]

  • Note: stations listed are licensed and have offices in Metro-East counties only. Stations that can be heard in the Metro-East but not listed have offices outside the Metro-East counties.
  • WSIE 88.7 FM (Edwardsville), jazz/public radio
  • WLCA 89.9 FM (Godfrey), alternative/college radio
  • WRXX 95.3 FM (Centralia), pop
  • WFUN 95.5 FM (Bethalto), hip-hop
  • WDLJ 97.5 FM (Carlyle), classic rock
  • KBWX 100.3 FM (Alton), urban
  • WJAF 103.7 FM (Centralia)
  • WNSV 104.7 FM (Nashville), Hot AC
  • WAOX 105.3 FM (Staunton), Hot AC
  • WSMI 106.1 FM (Litchfield). country
  • WILY 1210 AM (Centralia), oldies
  • WJBM 1480 AM (Jerseyville), talk
  • WESL 1490 AM (East St. Louis), urban
  • WQQW 1510 AM (Highland, Belleville)
  • WBGZ 1570 AM (Alton), news/talk

See also: Radio stations in Illinois

The Metro East In Film[]

  • Note, the falling is a partial list of films shot, often partially, sometimes with significant production, within the Metro East. All data can be rechecked via the Internet Movie Database [1]

"uncredited" means a Metro East Location was not credited within the database, but was clearly shot on metroeast soil upon watching the film itself.

  • In the Heat of the Night Feature length film, shot in Belleville, IL (1968)
  • Things are Tough All Over (Cheech and Chong) (uncredited) Feature length film, shot on the East St. Louis riverfront (1982)
  • King of the Hill Feature length film, shot in Alton, IL (1993)
  • A Will of their Own Feature length TV film, shot in Belleville, IL (1998)
  • The Big Brass Ring Feature length film, shot in Alton, IL (1999)
  • Steel City Feature length film, shot in Alton, East Alton, Godfrey, and Jerseyville, IL (2006)
  • The Lucky Ones Feature length film, Shot in Edwardsville, IL (2008)
  • The Coverup Feature length film, shot in Alton, IL (2008)
  • Kingshighway Feature length film, shot in Fairview Heights, IL (2010)
  • Joint Body Feature length film, shot in various locations throughout the Metro East (2011)

Metro East in fiction[]

Laurell K. Hamilton has used the Metro-East as a setting in several books from the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series. In the Merry Gentry series, fairies of the Unseelie Court have made their home in Monk's Mound.

Robert J. Randisi set one of his Joe Keough mysteries, East of the Arch (2002), in the Metro East communities of East St. Louis and Fairview Heights.[6]


The 2010 issue of Family Circle magazine named Edwardsville third in their "Top 10 Best Towns for Families".[7]

Area codes[]

  • Area code 217: extreme northeast part of Metro East
  • Area code 618: majority of the Metro-East is in this area code.


  1. ^ Staff (2012). "Main". U.S. Census Bureau | American FactFinder. American FactFinder. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  2. ^ 2010census
  3. ^ DOUG MOORE; JEREMY KOHLER; NICHOLAS J.C. PISTOR (20 February 2011). "Metro East growing more diverse, census data show". STL Today. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "10 Best Towns for Families: 2010", Family Circle, Retrieved on 2010-08-07.

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Metro East. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.