For all the talk of downtown revitalization in places like Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore, the numbers don’t lie.
The U.S. Census bureau released population estimates covering counties and metro areas today, and the picture is grim for the post-industrial Midwest and Northeast. For example, the city of St. Louis lost nearly 3,500 residents between July 2015 and 2016, representing a 1.1 percent population drop—the sharpest out of any city in the country, and a much sharper local decline than in recent years. Chicago, too, saw its long-term losses compound, with the largest numeric decline out of any metro area: more than 21,000 people, or 0.4 percent of its population. A similar story unfolded in Baltimore, which saw a rapid acceleration in population loss from 2015 to 2016. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Syracuse, Hartford, Buffalo, Scranton, and Rochester also lost thousands.