June 30, 2005


Cleveland population lowest since 1900 (Rich Exner, June 30, 2005, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo lost residents last year at a rate that was among the highest in the nation, according to census estimates being released today.

Worst among Ohio's big cities was Cincinnati, which lost 4,031 people, or 1.3 percent of its population. The Queen City's percentage loss trails only St. Paul, Detroit, St. Louis and Boston.

Cleveland's population fell to its lowest level since the 1900 census, dropping 1 percent. The loss of nearly 5,000 residents put the city's population at 458,684. Since 2000, Cleveland has lost nearly 20,000 residents, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

City's population falls for fourth straight year (ART GOLAB, 6/30/05, Chicago Sun-Times)
Chicago lost more than 13,000 residents between July 2003 and July 2004, a decline of nearly half a percent, according to population estimates to be released by the Census Bureau today.

The decline, roughly equal to the population of north suburban Winnetka, was the largest in four years of consecutive population downturns since the 2000 census.

During that period, Chicago lost nearly 38,000 people -- or 1.17 percent of its residents -- bringing the population down to 2.86 million.

No cities, no Blue States.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 30, 2005 10:50 AM

Doesn't everybody know what the game is? Minority-based political machines use bad public schools to drive non-minority voters out of the city then rule the wreckage.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 30, 2005 11:13 AM

Yessuh! Let them have the cities. Great places to visit though.

Posted by: Genecis at June 30, 2005 11:42 AM

the minorities are leaving

Posted by: oj at June 30, 2005 11:43 AM

Based on the 2000/2004 vote patterns (Dem strength concentrated in the big cities) OJ's point makes sense. Some would argue that people leaving the cities doesn't mean they change their politics. Others argue that liberals who feel comfortable with relying heavily on govt services congregate in the big cities and that the exodus from the cities may mean a population less reliant on govt. Hopefully the latter is the case.

Posted by: AWW at June 30, 2005 11:43 AM

OJ's theory has worked in Cincinnati, Cleveland is still worse for the wear.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 30, 2005 12:07 PM

the big cities are so toxic that everyone is leaving them, except the tax eaters.

Posted by: cjm at June 30, 2005 12:08 PM

I'm from Cincinnati. Cincinnati and Dayton are losing population. But, the suburbs north of Cincinnati and South of Dayton are some of the fastest growing areas in the country. Ask anyone why and they'll tell you its the quality of the schools. Even those without kids follow because its a sounder property investment.

Posted by: Kevin Bowman at June 30, 2005 12:12 PM

Pittsburgh is also in very bad shape, both demographically and financially.

Ironically, the city had weathered the downturn of the steel industry and the metro area (except for pockets like Aliquippa) had recovered fairly well by the early 1990s. But the necessary adjustments to the tax base were never made. The demands of the police and fire unions continued to grow, and a couple of years ago, the city finally admitted collapse.

The largest employer in Allegheny County is now the University of Pittsburgh (including its health systems).

Many areas in the suburbs are doing very well, but the city itself is a mess.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 30, 2005 12:30 PM

In my part of Bergen County (New Milford, Dumont, Bergenfield), the population was almost entirely lower middle class Whites(3-I League mostly, but some Germans and Dutch). In the last few years, there has been an influx of Asians(mostly Filipinos, Koreans and Hindus) and Hispanics(Colombians and Dominicans)of similar income, all fleeing NYC or Jersey City. They bypassed the closer-in suburbs which are either becoming slums or yuppie havens or combinations of the two like Hoboken. The result has been a dramatic surge in real estate prices, even for housing stock which is of dubious quality. There are lots of pre-WWII frame homes here which are drafty as all hell, have wiring from the pre-electricity days, no central AC, oil heat, and still stand because the termites hold hands. And these are going for $300,000 to $450,000.

One thing that has happened is that there is pressure from parents to improve the quality of both public and private education. It hasn't translated into politics yet, but Bergenfield has a Filipino Democrat for a mayor. If anything, there is less tolerance for the kind of business as usual small-time boodling that characterizes much of NJ political life. The net improvement in both food options and attractive women goes without saying.

As an aside, Teaneck, another neighboring town, has seen an enormous influx of Orthodox Jews who don't use the public schools. Some of the language used to refer to them around the Reform temple I go to would curdle your blood, language I wouldn't even use to describe people I don't like. But it is increasing the GOP presence here, and the GOP does run candidates with ties to the traditional Jewish community around here.

Posted by: bart at June 30, 2005 2:29 PM

The 40 year deline of Detroit brings tears to my eyes. It was once a vibrant and dynamic city. Now, it's a wasteland. There are a few vitally alive pockets, only a few. I hold Coleman Young primarily responsible for this decline (I'll leave it to more eloquent folks like Bart to make more indepth observations about "hiz-oner" He knew how to play the race card well.

Posted by: Dave W. at June 30, 2005 5:00 PM

Detroit is a real tragedy. There was unquestionably a history of racial exploitation but the policies of Coleman Young did nothing to deal with them other than a kind of revenge.

It's been at least 35 years since Detroit had a White mayor and about as long since Whites had a majority on the City Council. Isn't it about time that the Blacks in Detroit took responsibility for themselves?

Posted by: bart at June 30, 2005 9:08 PM

It was just the riots.

Posted by: oj at June 30, 2005 9:20 PM

This is a must read from the City Journal Spring 2003.

Particularly this:
"..ACORN promotes ideas like “sustainable development,” which would limit the growth of suburbs—so businesses and individuals can’t flee just beyond the city limits so easily—and “regional government,” which would force suburbs to share their tax revenues with cities, so that overburdened middle-class taxpayers can’t vote with their feet against the cities’ ever expanding social-democratic mini-welfare states."

Jane Jacob's, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) talks about how it all began.

Posted by: Emily B. at June 30, 2005 10:40 PM
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