After reading the Seattle Times article, “U.S. Census: Seattle now fourth for growth among 50 biggest U.S. cities” by: Gene Balk, I was curious to understand the various trends in other major US cities. I pulled down the census data cited in Balk’s article and created the following data “vignette” to better understand the numbers. A few things jumped out at me:
A few cities in the Midwest Rust Belt are continuing a longer-term trend of slow to negative growth.
- Detroit continues to “lead” the pack with an annual “growth” rate of -1%.
- Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo, and St. Louis are all clearly shrinking with rates between -0.5% and -0.2%
- Cincinnati seems to have bucked this trend with a modest 0.1% growth rate.
- Chicago & Milwaukee did shrink from 2014-2015, but still grew slightly this decade.
Oil drilling gateways Baton Rouge, LA & Anchorage, AK have bumpy growth patterns.
- New Orleans seems to have escaped the impacts of a volatile oil market as it picks up the 8th fastest growing city on the list. Keep in mind, however that the Big Easy lost over a 250,000 people after hurricane Katrina, and is still much smaller than its highs in the 20th century.
The global trend of urbanization is alive and well in these numbers.
- Only 7 of the 101 cities have been shrinking this decade. More interesting is that 16 of the 101 cities added more population than all of the shrinking cities combined (-58,000.) This includes the Rust Belt city of Columbus, Ohio which added over 59,000 people.
If you see other interesting trends, please comment and I can update this article accordingly.