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The Southeast region - A geographical wonder

Cape Girardeau Farmer's MarketMississippi RiverMelaina's Magical PlaylandJacksonCape Girardeau's intermodal accessBill Emerson Memorial Bridge
Click on a photo to enlarge.

Missouri’s southeast “bootheel” region follows the curve of the Mississippi, making it a major transportation hub for area businesses.  Five port facilities, seven major highways, Class I rail and a regional airport cater to virtually every type of business. Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau and Mineral Area College in Park Hills provide the talent to attract – and sustain -growing companies.  

The terrain in this area is rugged, with the Mighty Mississippi giving rise to the St. Francois mountains - the oldest mountain range in America. Unique rock formations at Elephant Rocks State Park and Johnson Shut-ins attract tourists from near and far.

But the unique geography of the southeast region has another benefit.  Known for its rich alluvial soil, this 13-county area produces more than 25% of the state’s entire agricultural output.  The University of Missouri has dedicated more than a thousand acres in Pemiscot County to the study of soybean cropping systems and disease control at the MU Delta Center.

Southeast Missouri offers many business benefits:

  • Low business costs and taxes
  • An above-average, below-market work force
  • A low cost of living
  • A strong transportation network 
    • Interstates 55, 57, 155 and U.S. highways 60, 61, 62, and 67
    • Class I rail via BNSF and UP
    • Regional airports
    • Mississippi River access

Major cities

Cape Girardeau (Pop: 38,816)
Sikeston (16,494)
Farmington (17,796)
Jackson (14,386)
Kennett (10,916)
Perryville (8,334)

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013






Businesses and industry

The region's major employers include:

Southeast Missouri profile


Educational attainment:

High School Diploma  94,180
Some College 50,160
Associate's Degree 14,247
Bachelor's Degree 24,596
Graduate Degree 13,569
Total Degrees 196,752

Download data (Excel or PDF) for all Missouri regions and counties.  


Population 2014 366,416
Population Projection 2030 370,445
Civilian Labor Force (July 2015) 168,921
Employment (July 2015) 157,078
Unemployment (July 2015) 11,843
Unemployment Rate (July 2015) 7.70%

Download data (Excel or PDF) for all Missouri regions and counties.    


Recent investment projects

The southeast region’s long-standing businesses are expanding in the area that helped them grow. Recent expansions include:

  • Piva Group - adding 122 new jobs
  • Orgill - adding 70 new jobs
  • Pepsi MidAmerica- distribution center
  • Select Plastics - custom plastic sheet extrusion
  • AT&T - adding about 100 new call center jobs

Next steps

Download regional data  or find available sites and buildings in the region.

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Phone: +1.314.725.0949
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