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How Big Cities Will Weather the Housing Slump

A new report from bond rating agency Standard & Poors says the finances of the nation’s largest cities should be able to withstand the housing slump. Yes, I know, S&P has been criticized for not calling all the trouble in subprime mortgages early enough. The report does have some surprising stats about the nation’s largest cities.

Did you know that 80% of the nation’s 301 million residents live in urban areas? About 10% live in the ten largest cities. That’s despite the fact that three of the largest saw their populations shrink over the past three decades—Chicago, down 5% to 2.8 million people, Philadelphia, down 14% to 1.4 million and Detroit, ouch, down 27% to 870,000.