the shrinking cities of america have something in common

Earlier today, someone passed along the following quote to me. I’m told it’s from Hunter Morrison, the Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies Youngstown State University. If it’s true it’s an amazing and terrible statistic.

“80% of the shrinking cities in the United States are in the Great Lakes states.”

I suspect that might change in a hurry once the water starts drying up in the southwest, and air conditioning bills start becoming unmanageable, but, for now, it’s a pretty bleak statistic.

[More about Mr. Morrison can be found here. And, thanks to the internet, you can even hear what he sounds like, if you’re so inclined. Here’s a link to a discussion he recently had with Ohio bloggers on the subject of the “Youngstown 2010” plan, which he helped to draft.]

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  1. Dr. X
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    As the water warms up (global warming) there will be less shrinkage.

  2. egpenet
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Low birth rates, global competition, manufacturing consolidation (Whirlpool buys Maytag … and, today, WalMart says its shopping for more acquisitions after 25 years) …

    Folks who were in Ypsi during the War years and the auto boomlets after that remmber wall-to-wall people on the streets of Ypsi … bustling storefronts … jammed tenements! Yikes!

    A very happy medium would be nice, thank you.

    If Ypsi Township won’t merge or cooperate … then, let’s tunnel or bridge to Superior, Salem and/or even Augusta and work our deals with them … or even Sumpter or VanBuren Townships in Wayne County … what-the-hey?

    We and our new partners could just build a fence around Ypsi Township areas we do not wish to visit, like thee fence around old Ypsi State Hospital … just work around it.

    Better yet … let’s go to Condon’s ACE and buy a gross of small hatchets and have a “bury the hatchet” party on Water Street or on the shores of Ford Lake.

    Can “you people” who are in this grudge match please grow up! It’s getting serious!

  3. mike_1630
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Whoa… shit… that doesn’t sound good…

  4. Posted August 31, 2007 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    The 80% statistic is not completely accurate. Between April 2000 and July 2006, 65 major cities in the US (defined as cities with over 100,000 residents) lost population. Of these 65 cities, 24 (or 37%) were in Great Lakes states (defined as Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin).

    Of the ten biggest decliners, eight were Great Lakes states, so perhaps this is the basis for the 80% figure. But it is misleading to characterize shrinking as a Great Lakes issue because the phenomenon is occuring (albeit at a somewhat slower rate) in many US regions.

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