June 30, 2005

Not so big anymore.

For the first time since before the Civil War, Milwaukee is not one of the twenty largest cities in the U.S. They seem pretty upset about it.

And Detroit's awfully sad about falling out of the top 10. Its place was taken by San Jose.

Only one midwestern state left in the top 10: Chicago.

CORRECTION: I mean to say that only one midwestern state is represented in the top ten. I realize Chicago's a city...

18 comments:

PatCA said...

Falling population means falling home prices, right?

I'm moving back!

Steven said...

Well, as long as the bloody idiots continue to run Detroit, what can one expect? Everybody's skedaddling for reasonably-run municipalities in Oakland and Macomb counties.

Steven said...

Snerk. "Still, some city leaders say Detroit is just beginning its economic and social renaissance."

They said that in 2000. And 1995. And 1990. And even in 1985, claiming that the city had nowhere to go but up after the 1984's 800+ Devil's Night fires and the World Series victory riot. WHich all happened after the predictions of turnaround in 1980, 1975, and 1970.

And they're going to still be predicting a turnaround in 2010, and probably 2020. Of course, one would expect eventually the city will decline to the point that it literally can't collapse any further . . . .

Pastor_Jeff said...

Pity us here in St. Louis:
100 years ago, we were a top 5 city. 50 years ago, we had over 850K in the city and two major league baseball teams. Today, population is 40% of that (under 350K). Talk about urban flight - large parts of the city are like a ghost town.

Ron said...

steven: Big ups on that! Detroit is the most ineptly managed city in America. But hey, any day now...

chuck_b said...

Tell your cities to get a Grand Prix! I can't wait!

jeff said...

What can Milwaukie say? The weather sucks in the winter.

The elderly and retired didn't used to have the option of moving someplace comfortable. Now they do.

I wonder if anyone has ever done a study on what effect that has had on northern populations?

Dave said...

Well, I'm here in NYC.

8 million and counting.

Outlier said...

I think I read an economist that hypothesized Cleveland is now immune to the business cycle because population and economic decline is such that the foundation of the local economy is almost disconnected from external forces. I wish I had the citation or the article (any help?)

I grew up in a rust-belt city, but population decline wasn't urban flight - it was just flight. Is it the same way in the cities of the Midwest? Are places like Milwaukee and St. Louis losing people to the suburbs, or are they just losing them?

Jerome C. Austriaco said...

Being from the suburbs of Chicago, it DOES seem like Chicago is its own state.

Pancho said...

And we're complaining because cities like ours, Midland Texas, are getting bigger than many of us care to see. Many people in larger cities are finally coming to the conclusion that life in cities like ours with good airports, weather, schools, health care and quality of life are more preferable to the ratrace in the megalopoli.

Troy said...

Steven...

The leaders of Detroit will keep saying they're in a renaissance until Robocop appears. At least that's how the movie goes.

Ann Althouse said...

I remember it being the big thing that the Renaissance Center -- as the name indicates -- was going to bring back Detroit. It was built in 1976.

Fred Ochsenhirt said...

If you're worried about rankings, just merge the county and city governments. That's what allows the city fathers here in Louisville to claim that "Louisville Metro" is the 16th largest city in the US. It won't change a thing about your city's economic future, but it makes for good PR.

Ron said...

Ann: And you see what a spiffy job the Ren Cen has done for Detroit right? Maybe by the next American Centennial...

Ann Althouse said...

Ron: Who ever goes to Detroit to see what it's like? I lived in Ann Arbor for five years and went to Detroit exactly once -- to see a Tigers game. Never ventured downtown.

Duke of DeLand said...

"Only one midwestern state left in the top 10: Chicago."

Do you mean Chicago is a state? I actually think the rest of the fine Land of Lincoln would be better w/o Chicago....but then where would Chicago get its tax dollars?

A really good read about 40 years ago was a book, "The Other Illinois." Wish I could remember who wrote it.

Having been an Illinois resident for 35 of my years, before bailing to Florida, I still love the state and its heritage. Bet most therein, however would guess wrong about the 2nd largest city in Illinois.....

It is Rockford, not Springfield or E. St. Louis (land of the corrupt).

Have a great day Ann!

Duke of DeLand

Ron said...

Ann: I was born and raised in Detroit(saw the riots up close and personal as a lad of 9...oh boy, tanks!), though I have now lived in Ann Arbor for almost 20 years. Even though it's very close, many Ann Arborites won't go to Detroit and wince at the notion that A2 might be considered a 'suburb.'

I have taken many people there, to Tiger games, to Greektown, to Auto Shows, to the excellent Farmers Market...but the shocked reactions are sobering. The worst was when I took someone to Greektown early on a Sunday and they wanted to walk to the riverfront. I agreed and they commented that on our brief walk we saw...no one. "A major city with NO ONE around on a Sunday morning?" She couldn't believe it. I didn't know what to say.