With its French past and waves of Catholic immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries, from Ireland, Germany and Italy, St. Louis is a major center of Roman Catholicism in the United States. St. Louis also boasts the largest Ethical Culture Society in the United States, and consistently ranks as one of the most generous cities in the United States, ranking ninth in 2013. Several places of worship in the city are noteworthy, such as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, home of the world's largest mosaic installation.
The gross domestic product of the St. Louis metro area was $160 billion in 2016, up from $155 billion the previous year. The gross metropolitan product of Greater St. Louis was $146 billion in 2014, the 21st-highest in the country, up from $144 billion in 2013, $138.4 billion in 2012, and $133.1 billion in 2011. The St. Louis metropolitan area had a per-capita GDP of $48,738 in 2014, up 1.6% from the previous year. In 2007, manufacturing in the city conducted nearly $11 billion in business, followed by the health care and social service industry with $3.5 billion; professional or technical services with $3.1 billion; and the retail trade with $2.5 billion. The health care sector was the area's biggest employer with 34,000 workers, followed by administrative and support jobs, 24,000; manufacturing, 21,000, and food service, 20,000.
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