Cape Girardeau (/ˈkeɪp dʒɪˈrɑːrdoʊ/, French: Cap-Girardeau [kap ʒiʁaʁdo] (listen); colloquially referred to as “Cape”) is a city in Cape Girardeau County in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is located approximately 115 miles (185 km) southeast of St. Louis and 175 miles (282 km) north of Memphis. As of the 2018 United States Census Bureau estimates, the city’s population was 39,853, making it the 17th-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Southeast Missouri. An emerging college town, it is the home of Southeast Missouri State University.
Cape Girardeau is located at 37°18′33″N 89°32′47″W / 37.30917°N 89.54639°W / 37.30917; -89.54639 (37.309042, −89.546498). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.49 square miles (73.79 km), of which 28.43 square miles (73.63 km) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km) is water. The “cape” that the city is named after no longer exists. A rock which remains from the previously existing cape can be seen on a promontory which overlooks the Mississippi River in Cape Rock Park.
The Cape Girardeau-Jackson, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses Alexander County, Illinois, Bollinger County, Missouri and Cape Girardeau County, Missouri and has a population of 96,275.
As of the census of 2010, there were 37,941 people, 15,205 households, and 8,466 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,334.5 inhabitants per square mile (515.3/km). There were 16,760 housing units at an average density of 589.5 per square mile (227.6/km). The racial makeup of the city was 81.13% White (80.21% Non-Hispanic White), 12.75% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.89% Asian, 0.04% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 1.54% from other races, and 2.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.76% of the population.
There were 15,205 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 38.8% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.3% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the city, the population was spread out with 19.3% under the age of 18, 20.2% between the ages of 18 and 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age in the city was 32.1 years. The gender makeup of the city was 47.4% male and 52.6% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 35,349 people, 14,380 households, and 8,297 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,456.5 people per square mile (562.4/km²). There were 15,827 housing units at an average density of 652.1 per square mile (251.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.32% White, 9.30% Black or African American, 1.13% Asian, 0.39% Native American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population.
There were 14,380 households of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.3% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the city, the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 18.4% from ages 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,502, and the median income for a family was $47,592. Males had a median income of $31,575 versus $21,392 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,877. About 8.5% of families and 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 and over.