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
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.
As of the census 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.
The Metro East is connected with Missouri by the Metro Linklight 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.
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.
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.