List of shrinking cities in the United States

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The following municipalities in the United States have lost at least 20% of their population, from a peak of over 100,000, since 1950. In all but a few cases, the surrounding metropolitan areas and urban areas (including the shrinking metropolitan areas) have increased in population. In recent decades, most of the cities in the Northeast have begun growing again.[1]

Geography[edit]

A patchwork of cities across the northern United States, because of their vibrant industrial economies, were referred to collectively as "the Foundry of the Nation".[2] These are also referred to as the Manufacturing Belt or the Factory Belt. This includes most of the cities of the Midwest out to the Mississippi River, and many of those in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states, particularly those away from the Eastern Seaboard. After World War II, the cities in the area among the nation's 100 largest in the middle-20th century had population that had fallen most by the century's end.[3]

At the center lies an area stretching from northern Indiana and southern Michigan in the west to Upstate New York in the east, where local tax revenues still rely more heavily on manufacturing than on any other sector (by far the largest contiguous area of the U.S. where this is the case).[4]

Shrinking cities[edit]

City 1950
population
Peak population
Peak population year
2010
population
Decline
from peak
% decline
from peak
Akron, Ohio 274,605 290,351 1960 199,110 91,241 34.5%
Albany, New York 134,995 134,995 1950 97,856 37,139 27.5%
Baltimore, Maryland 949,708 949,708 1950 620,961 328,747 34.6%
Birmingham, Alabama 326,037 340,887 1960 212,237 128,650 37.7%
Boston, Massachusetts 801,444 801,444 1950 617,594 183,850 22.9%
Buffalo, New York 580,132 580,132 1950 270,240 309,892 53.4%
Camden, New Jersey 124,555 124,555 1950 77,344 47,211 37.9%
Canton, Ohio 116,912 116,912 1950 73,007 43,905 37.6%
Chicago, Illinois 3,620,962 3,620,962 1950 2,695,598 925,364 25.6%
Cincinnati, Ohio 503,998 503,998 1950 296,943 207,055 41.1%
Cleveland, Ohio 914,808 914,808 1950 396,815 517,993 56.6%
Dayton, Ohio 243,872 262,332 1960 141,527 120,805 46.1%
Detroit, Michigan 1,849,568 1,849,568 1950 713,777 1,135,791 61.4%
Erie, Pennsylvania 130,803 138,440 1960 101,786 36,654 26.5%
Flint, Michigan 163,413 196,940 1960 102,434 94,506 48%
Gary, Indiana 133,911 178,320 1960 80,294 98,026 55%
Hammond, Indiana 87,595 111,698 1960 80,830 30,868 27.6%
Hartford, Connecticut 177,397 177,397 1950 124,060 53,337 30.1%
Jersey City, New Jersey 299,017 316,715 1930 247,597 69,118 21.8%
Minneapolis, Minnesota 521,718 521,718 1950 382,578 139,140 26.7%
Newark, New Jersey 438,776 442,337 1930 277,140 165,197 37.3%
New Haven, Connecticut 164,443 164,443 1950 129,779 34,664 21.1%
New Orleans, Louisiana** 570,445 627,525 1960 384,320 243,205 38.8%
Niagara Falls, New York 90,872 102,394 1960 50,194 52,200 51%
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2,071,605 2,071,605 1950 1,526,006 545,599 26.3%
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 676,806 676,806 1950 305,704 371,102 54.8%
Providence, Rhode Island 248,674 253,504 1940 178,042 74,939 29.6%
Reading, Pennsylvania 109,320 111,171 1930 88,082 23,089 20.8%
Rochester, New York 332,488 332,488 1950 210,565 121,923 36.7%
Scranton, Pennsylvania 125,536 143,333 1930 76,089 67,244 46.9%
Somerville, Massachusetts 102,351 103,908 1930 75,754 28,154 27.1%
South Bend, Indiana 115,911 132,445 1960 101,168 31,277 23.6%
St. Louis, Missouri 856,796 856,796 1950 319,294 537,502 62.7%
Syracuse, New York 220,583 220,583 1950 145,170 75,413 34.2%
Toledo, Ohio 303,616 383,818 1970 287,208 96,610 25.2%
Trenton, New Jersey 128,009 128,009 1950 84,913 43,096 33.7%
Utica, New York 100,489 101,740 1930 62,235 39,505 38.8%
Washington, D.C. 802,178 802,178 1950 601,723 200,455 25%
Wilmington, Delaware 110,356 112,504 1940 70,851 41,653 37%
Youngstown, Ohio 168,330 170,002 1930 66,982 103,020 60.6%

Note: ** New Orleans' population is registering large increases post-Hurricane Katrina.
* Chicago registered 3 decades of population declines (1950 thru 1980) before growing again.

See also[edit]

International:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "By 2040, DC's population could be close to 900,000". Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Sun On The Snow Belt (editorial)". Chicago Tribune. August 25, 1985. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ Hansen, Jeff; et al. (March 10, 2007). "Which Way Forward?". The Birmingham News. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Rural Classifications: 2004 County Typology Codes". USDA Economic Research Service. Retrieved October 7, 2015.