Saint Charles is a city in, and the county seat of, Saint Charles County, Missouri, United States. The population was 65,794 at the 2010 census, making St. Charles the ninth-largest city in Missouri. It lies to the northwest, and is a suburb of Saint Louis, Missouri on the Missouri River. Founded in about 1769 as Les Petites Côtes, or "The Little Hills" in French, by Louis Blanchette, a French-Canadian fur trader, when the area was nominally ruled by Spain following the Seven Years' War, it is the third-oldest city in Missouri. For a time, it played a significant role in the United States' westward expansion as a river port and starting point of the Boone's Lick Road to the Boonslick. It was settled primarily by French-speaking colonists from Canada in its early days and was considered the last "civilized" stop by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804, which was exploring the western territory after the United States made the Louisiana Purchase. The city served as the first Missouri capital from 1821 to 1826, and is the site of the Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne shrine.
St. Charles is located at 38°47′19″N 90°30′42″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.03 square miles (62.24 km²), of which, 23.65 square miles (61.25 km²) is land and 0.38 square miles (0.98 km²) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 65,794 people, 26,715 households, and 16,128 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,782.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,074.1/km²). There were 28,590 housing units at an average density of 1,208.9 per square mile (466.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.5% White, 5.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.8% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.
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