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  Anybody else discouraged by 2010 results?
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Author Topic: Anybody else discouraged by 2010 results?  (Read 1599 times)
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snowguy716
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« on: March 13, 2011, 12:31:19 am »

I seriously thought that cities that had been losing people since the 50s might have finally turned around.  But it seems, at least so far, that most that hadn't already begun to turn around in the 80s have just seen the decline accelerate.

Ohio was hit particularly hard.  Cleveland now has under 400,000 residents... down from 914,000 in 1950.  Youngstown is at 66,000... down from 170,000 in 1930.

In PA, Pittsburgh is down to just above 300,000 residents... less than half its peak of 676,000 in 1950... though the losses have slowed since the '80s.

At the same time, I'm starting to see some other trends.  Growth in the sunbelt has slowed... and some cities, which have faced decline for decades, are seeing growth again.. notably Newark, NJ and Philadelphia.  Philly saw its first population increase since the 1940s during the past decade.

I think what the trends are showing is that people are still leaving the depressed rustbelt areas in droves... but they're not all going to the sunbelt anymore.  Of course many are... but some are migrating to other cities within the same region.

I'm also seeing the general malaise among the population as well.. rather than just a depressed urban core.  Suburban areas of the cities that lost so many residents aren't seeing much growth either.  This indicates that everybody is hurting and people are leaving the region from all areas.. rather than just a migration towards open land on the edge of town.

I'm really hoping that Minneapolis and St. Paul didn't see big losses.  Their population trends are kind of a hybrid of the depressed rustbelt but also the more successful cities like Denver or Seattle.  Unlike Detroit or Cleveland where mass exodus caused by white flight led to vast areas of abandoned homes turned urban prairie... the population loss of the Twin Cities from the 50s-70s was caused by a reduction in household size.  The number of homes still increased.. just at a rate below the drop in household size.  This was especially true in the 70s when the numerous baby boomers that lived on the outskirts of the cities (which had developed in the 40s/50s) were moving out.  After 1980, the populations stabilized and grew in the '90s.

What do you guys think?  Do you notice any new trends?  Do you think the huge losses in St. Louis and Cleveland were for different reasons than in previous decades?  Just more of the same?
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bgwah
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 12:58:51 am »

I would guess that blacks are leaving in large numbers now, too. It wouldn't be terribly hard to confirm this with numbers, but I don't feel like dealing with the awful census website at the moment.
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Bacon King
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2011, 03:28:47 am »

Why Cleveland is losing population. If you're interested, here's some further analysis.
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Alcon
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011, 04:04:26 am »


haha, beautiful.
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Padfoot
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2011, 12:41:27 pm »

Everyone in Ohio is either moving to Columbus or the Cincinnati suburbs.  Those are the major growth areas in the state.  In Columbus our economy is based on something a little less flighty than he-who-must-not-be-named-in-Ohio.  We have the BUCKEYES!

In all seriousness though, OSU is a major economic force in the region.  Because of the university we actually have some degree of stability in construction employment.  And you would be hard pressed to find many families in Columbus whose employment isn't connected to OSU in some way regardless of what their field is.
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Dgov
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2011, 12:50:39 pm »

It's just the long-term trend against purely manufacturing/heavy Industry cities.
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Torie
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2011, 01:35:18 pm »

Part of it is that the public schools in most big cities suck so bad (with NYC to its great credit, being
a substantial exception, since for some time now, they have been closing suck schools, and have specialized charter schools and the like), that folks with school age kids just don't live in them much. So the persons per household in such places (along with the drop in the birthrate), is part of the reason, Hispanic zones being a huge exception.

Want to make cities come alive again? Improve the public schools! Who knew?
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Horus
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2011, 01:58:58 pm »

I'm not discouraged at all. When looking at city maps of gains/losses, there are trends in some cities that take that worry away. The downtown areas of MANY cities are growing again. Many cities are revitalizing themselves starting at the center. What this does is push the bad neighborhoods out, and into the suburbs more.

As a whole, city cores are improving and starting to gain people back, INNER RING suburbs are starting to lose people, have more crime, and be less desirable. This can't be applied to every city of course, but is the case with many including mine.
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opebo
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2011, 02:03:38 pm »

It's just the long-term trend against purely manufacturing/heavy Industry cities.

Not in China.

Want to make cities come alive again? Improve the public schools! Who knew?

The entire economic raison d'Ítre for huge swaths of the country have been eliminated by bad public policy, and you're talking about schools.
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cinyc
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2011, 03:13:44 pm »

I am not discouraged by these results.  The death of the suburbs, cheered on this website by many, has been greatly exaggerated. 

At the same time, I'm starting to see some other trends.  Growth in the sunbelt has slowed... and some cities, which have faced decline for decades, are seeing growth again.. notably Newark, NJ and Philadelphia.  Philly saw its first population increase since the 1940s during the past decade.

I think what the trends are showing is that people are still leaving the depressed rustbelt areas in droves... but they're not all going to the sunbelt anymore.  Of course many are... but some are migrating to other cities within the same region.

Growth in the sunbelt really hasn't slowed all that much.  In pure percentage terms, it has - but that is somewhat to be expected, because it's harder to grow as fast in percentage terms from a higher base. 

Plus, the US population itself also grew more slowly from 2000-2010 than from 1990-2000.  When you control for the lower overall US population growth, 2000-2010 population growth was actually stronger in the South and West than 1990-2000.  84% of the total growth was in those areas this decade vs. 77% in the last.  Every state with 2000-2010 double-digit growth was in the south or west, except, arguably, Delaware.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 03:31:44 pm »

Gentrification often results in population loss (at least in the areas being colonised) while anyone who lives in a slum gets the hell out as soon as they can. Who would live in inner city Cleveland unless they had no other choice?

Of course measuring cities by their municipal boundaries isn't always a great idea, particularly in the U.S.
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Linus Van Pelt
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2011, 11:56:22 am »

It's mainly just the Great Lakes and general rust belt: outside the industrial midwest, the only major cities so far that I can see that lost population are New Orleans, which is an obvious outlier, and Baltimore. Both Philadelphia and Washington DC had their first increases since the 1950 census; Portland, Seattle, and most southern cities have grown over 5% (except Dallas - not sure why on this one); and San Francisco and L.A. both grew modestly, despite having a ridiculous cost of living.

---

Gentrification often results in population loss (at least in the areas being colonised)

I was pushing this line too earlier in the census thread, but reflecting on some of the results, especially Philly and DC growing overall despite having certain areas that surely shrank, make me think now that it might be wrong in many US cases. It may require that the original lower-income population is at least stable enough that the housing is actually all occupied, and there are a lot of families with kids, which are more likely in a white working-class area in other first-world countries than in an American inner city. But it's complicated, so I'm not sure.
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Sounder
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2011, 05:29:18 pm »
« Edited: March 14, 2011, 05:34:32 pm by Sounder »



I'm also seeing the general malaise among the population as well.. rather than just a depressed urban core.  Suburban areas of the cities that lost so many residents aren't seeing much growth either.  This indicates that everybody is hurting and people are leaving the region from all areas.. rather than just a migration towards open land on the edge of town.


It's  like a different planet where I live.  Even the depressed places got a jolt during the housing bubble thanks to their more affordable real estate.   Other than some super rural wheat towns and Raymond-on-the-mud-flats, most places prospered out here.  Even the urban cores.  Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, and Spokane all saw increased population and prosperity in their cores.  In the 1980's, Tacoma's downtown was totally dead.  Yakima's core is the exception.  It is has lost out to the Tri-Cities as the hub of South Central Washington.  

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snowguy716
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2011, 06:33:47 pm »

Well, the results in Minnesota were pretty unsurprising.  Minneapolis' population stayed flat (lost 60 people since 2000... though by the estimates there was a significant loss from 2000-2005 down to 369,000 with a rebound to 2000 levels late in the decade).  St. Paul lost 2100 people.

The same areas that grew in the 1990s grew in the 2000s... mainly the suburban ring of the Twin Cities with a broad corridor including St. Cloud, the Brainerd Lakes area, the rural lakes areas of Hubbard and Cass Counties, and the Bemidji Lakes area... while the northwest and northeast corners, and the southwestern farmbelt near South Dakota lost people.

Woodbury was the fastest growing of the larger cities in the state, adding a third to 62,000 people.  Rochester, in southeastern MN, grew by 24% to 107,000 thanks to being a leader in healthcare (Mayo Clinic) and high-tech industries (IBM).

There were some surprises.  The city of Moorhead, part of the Fargo-Moorhead area along the MN-ND border, grew by 18.5% in the 2000s, the fastest growth since the 1960s (the fastest growth in that time frame being 7.7% in the '80s with a loss in the 90s).  Growth in the Fargo-Moorhead region was quite strong in the past decade thanks to a good economy in the region.  Some areas of western Minnesota and most of North Dakota were not nearly as affected by the recession and housing bubble as the rest of hte nation.

My area also grew faster than census estimates, with the Bemidji area growing by about 14% in the past 10 years compared to 16% during the '90s.
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memphis
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2011, 07:41:55 pm »

Even with an annexation, Memphis down 0.5 percent. Weak. At least we're still bigger than Nashville. Rural TN held on better than rural areas in other parts of the country.
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TJ in Oregon
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2011, 09:16:50 pm »

I am a little depressed by Cleveland being under 400,000 and it will continue to shrink for years to come. A huge contributor to many neighborhoods changing from working to slum was the foreclosure crisis. The entire east side of Cleveland is more or less one large sea of abandoned houses and warehouses. There are some areas that are like ghost towns. You walk down some quiet backstreets and see only a couple houses on entire blocks that are otherwise unoccupied. We have not takent the Detroit approach here and started burning buildings so Cleveland at least looks a little nicer for the most part.

While the entire metro area is struggling economically, everyone here still wants to leave the city of Cleveland. The school system is a wreck. The former CEO unveiled a huge plan to combine and close a bunch of schools, then immediately retired taking a huge severance package. Our county government was raided by the FBI two years ago and a whole bunch of politicians were arrested.

Our population loses are certainly not from gentrification because gentrification has only happened in a handful of places, such as downtown, Tremont (on the near west side), and University Circle (where the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and all of the cultural institutions are). There are a few businesses expanding into Cleveland but no one in their right mind would want to live in most of the city right now.

That being said, there are some bright spots. Case and the Cleveland Clinic have facilitated the creation of 200 or so small start up technology firms over the last five years mainly supported by venture capitalists and the benefits of this project may start to manifest themselves in the next 10 years. It is also important that this is happening in University Circle, surrounded by most of the worst neighborhoods on the east side. Every time I go down Euclid Avenue (the main street through the near east side) it seems like another business has opened its doors. Still, we have not reached the bottom quite yet and it will be years before people start moving back into the city.
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Verily
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2011, 08:25:53 am »

Gentrification often results in population loss (at least in the areas being colonised)

I was pushing this line too earlier in the census thread, but reflecting on some of the results, especially Philly and DC growing overall despite having certain areas that surely shrank, make me think now that it might be wrong in many US cases. It may require that the original lower-income population is at least stable enough that the housing is actually all occupied, and there are a lot of families with kids, which are more likely in a white working-class area in other first-world countries than in an American inner city. But it's complicated, so I'm not sure.

Yes; in nearly all cases, prior to gentrification there was a ton of vacant housing in many of these places, often as much as 50% unoccupied. Additionally, early-stage gentrifiers are usually students or young professionals who share apartments--so every bedroom is occupied, sometimes doubly occupied by couples. Now, later on in gentrification, population might fall as the apartment-sharing youngfolk are replaced by families. But the place to look for that phenomenon is where gentrification is already perceived to be over, e.g., Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn or DuPont Circle in DC. Not on the frontiers.
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