Financial issues have been significant reasons for people looking to leave these cities, and with so many people fleeing at such alarming rates, we can’t help but wonder if there’s more to the story. These are the fastest shrinking cities in each state across the United States…
Norwich, such a shame, it was once known as "The Rose of New England," but this city has been shedding residents since the 1960s. It would seem that the people who live in Norwich only stay because they're stuck there, not because they actually want to.
Just like any suburban town, Norwich may have had the potential to become a great city but over time, due to the extreme gaps in economic diversity and the lack of advancement opportunities, it has begun to lose those promising prospects.
Gladeview is distinguished by its slower-paced environment. This city is quiet, as there isn't a lot of street clamor or noise. From the moment Gladeview was cast aside by Miami, its numbers have been in a steady decline.
It looks like Gladeview is shrinking every year, the citizens of Gladeview during the 1980s was around 18,000, but in the 2010 census, it had shrunk to 11,535. If this trend carries on, Gladeview will find itself with fewer than 10,000 residents soon.
Lordsburg, New Mexico
Lordsburg has a population of less than 3,000, with many old buildings, family-owned businesses, and many restaurants. Lordsburg is pretty much a truck stop where people live.
The economic issues in New Mexico make it a much less appealing relocation address for many citizens. The already small population of New Mexico has mostly stayed the same since 2010, but Lordsburg has undergone a 13.2% shrinkage in its number of residents since 2010.
Milwaukee is one city that seems cemented in the past; the first thing you notice is the city's deep segregation, with 1950s era diversity in the neighborhoods. You can also clearly see the economic inequality weaved into neighborhoods like yarn, so close in proximity yet so far in every other aspect.
Milwaukee might have an NBA franchise to call its own, but if people don't have jobs, they don't stick around for basketball games forever. Since the 1960s, Milwaukee has sadly had to say goodbye to 150,000 people.
While it might have one of the more exciting names in the US, Anaconda has seen its inhabitants decrease to fewer than 10,000. Anaconda may have once been a prominent city, but by 2000, the population had shrunk so much it was demoted to a town.
People are still fleeing Anaconda, with an environmental issue involving an arsenic spill leading residents to pack up and leave.
The small city of Clinton had 34,719 people back in the ‘70s, but today this figure is thought to be a little more than 25,000; this drop is the steepest this river town has experienced in 40 years.
Clinton isn’t the only city in Iowa dealing with a dwindling population, with Camanche, a much smaller town, following in as a close second.
Baker City, Oregon
Baker City is known as the "Queen City of the Mines" at the turn of the 20th century; it was the first town established along the Oregon Trail in northeastern Oregon. As more and more people are crowding to Oregon, Oregon's cities proved to be a hotspot for people to relocate to, but Baker City isn't proving to be so popular.
There aren't many places in Oregon that are losing inhabitants, but the most significant decrease in the state was found in Baker City. This city lost 0.7% of its residents, with the residents seeking out somewhere else to settle down.
Hot Springs, South Dakota
Many people are looking to move as near to main cities as possible, which means smaller, more provincial towns like Hot Springs in South Dakota are encountering a difficult season. There has been a dramatic shift in population numbers in Hot Springs since 2000, with the city feeling a decline of 10% in 2010 and an additional 5% in 2018.
The cause for the reduction in residents is quite apparent when you compare these figures to the rise in South Dakota’s major cities' population.
Warwick, Rhode Island
Rhode Island has always had a small population, but it made headlines in 2018 when it was reported there weren’t enough citizens to justify two House seats. An initiative to expand the state’s population began soon afterward, proposing a bill that grants new residents $10,000 in tax credits.
One of the cities worst afflicted by the drop in population was Warwick, which lost 2.2% of its inhabitants since 2010. For ten years, between 2000 and 2010, Warwick also lost another 3.7% of its population, with no recovery signs for this lonely city.
Douglas lies in the north-west Sulpher Springs Valley, with open, grassy lands, which made it the perfect area for many of the region's largest cattle ranchers. But in 2010, it had a population of 17,378, and in 2018, the figures had shrunk to 15,978.
As with all places, people just prefer bigger towns for their opportunities and better job prospects. Phoenix experienced a population influx of 14.8% during that same period, so it seems people in Arizona are searching for a taste of city living.
El Paso, Texas
El Paso is a mid-size American city. Self-sufficient and predictably large, the city has a modern downtown, with a commercial district. Its extreme west location can feel isolating, meaning large industries have never succeeded in taking root.
El Paso is seeing many of its residents leave, but more people arrive than depart, giving the city a population slight increase of 5.2%.
Dyersburg in northwest Tennessee, has been encountering a dip in its population for years; with the humble city facing downward drift, there was no sign that it would stop until recently.
In 2018 the Frazier Industrial Company opened a new manufacturing plant in Dyersburg, which generated 120 new jobs. It also brought more than $17 million in investments, which may help give the city’s economy the boost it desperately needs.
Despite many cities across Colorado increasing their population, not every prominent city in the state did. Established along the South Platte River in 1881, Sterling quickly developed into a business hub on Colorado's eastern plains.
Although it has been through its share of booms and busts, Sterling's residents are now looking for somewhere else to settle down. Sterling worries that it will continue to lose more people following a 7.9% population drop in recent years.
Virginia has been trying its best to rally people to relocate into the state. While attempting to bring people in, Virginia hasn't deterred people from heading out of state to explore greener pastures elsewhere. Portsmouth was always one of the biggest cities in Virginia. It's a coastal treasure with a collection of antique homes spanning three centuries, with an assortment of quirky shops and eclectic, locally-owned restaurants.
But since the 1960s, there has been a continued drop in its population. In 1960, Portsmouth's community was 114,773, but since then, the figure has dipped below 100,000. The 2018 census counted 94,632 people living in Portsmouth, Virginia, giving the city a 17% decrease in residents since the 1960s.
St. Louis, Missouri
Nestled between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers banks sits the city of St. Louis, known for its baseball and the most famous arch that isn't part of a fast-food logo. But despite that, St. Louis is now placed as the 64th largest city in the country. St. Louis was once bustling city, but now its numbers are steadily declining as people look to find somewhere better to live.
There are hundreds of abandoned buildings in St. Louis mainly because of a lack of investment and government administration that favored suburbanization. 64% of St. Louis residents have left since the 50s and since 2010, the city has experienced a further drop in its population by 5%.
Rock Island, Illinois
Illinois has been grappling with its shrinking numbers for many years, with many people moving out of the bigger cities searching for a more provincial setting.
One city with a striking difference in their numbers is Rock Island, which was doing well during the 1980s. Since then, the city has been in a gradual downswing, with a recorded 3.4% drop in size in 2018 from 2010.
Gary, Indiana, is fighting to keep a steady population due to its shrinking job market. The city was built on the manufacturing industry, but growing competitiveness in the steel industry overseas caused many US layoffs.
This has impacted many people living in Gary, and there has been a continuous decline in numbers since the 60s. In the 2010 census, Gary lost a startling 21% of its residents and an additional 6% in 2018.
When job opportunities in a city disappear, it’s only a matter of time before the people follow suit. Pittsfield in Massachusetts was once a booming city thanks to General Electric, but people also began leaving when the company decided to relocate in the 1980s. Since General Electric left Pittsfield, the town has experienced a staggering 26.5% slump in numbers as there are better opportunities for employment to be found elsewhere.
Pittsfield lost around 7,000 residents between 2010 and 2018, but with new jobs offered by General Dynamics and Berkshire Health Systems, the city could rise once again in the future.
When major cities experience continued growth, it's often at the expense of smaller cities and towns. Bigger cities have overshadowed one such town in Wyoming, and that is Worland.
Since the 1960s, the people in Worland have had their ups and downs, or rather, Worland experienced a population loss of 7.5%, which may be troubling, and something that the residents of Worland hope won't carry on.
While California has felt a surge in its population every year, in 2019, it seems like the increase slowed down. California’s population growth may have begun to slow because cities like Corcoran show a dramatic drop in numbers.
Corcoran’s numbers recently announced a dip in residents by 12.6%, sending the population down to 21,676. High taxes in California could be why their growth has stalled, although it could also be Corcoran’s slower pace of life that drives people away.
Vermont's population figures have pretty much stayed the same over the years, with Rutland seeing the biddest outflux of people; since 2010, it has seen a decrease in its population by 7.1%.
Located nearly 65 miles north of the Massachusetts state line and 20 miles east of the New York state line, despite its ideal location, Rutland has been losing people at a steady pace, with over 20% of the people leaving.
Cordele in Georgia is recognized as the "Watermelon Capital of the World." Unfortunately, Cordele has been struggling with a declining population for years, and the government has even passed a law to try and stop more people from leaving.
The population of Cordele was 11,608, in 2010 and that number was 10,638 in 2018. It seems that Cordele is losing people every year, and there are plans to lower taxes in an attempt to attract more people to Cordele.
Most of the time, economic hardships are behind a population’s decline, which seems to be the case for Coffeyville, Kansas. The whole County of Montgomery is shrinking, with one of the bustling cowtowns in Kansas experiencing the largest drop after losing an estimated 9% of its residents over the last ten years.
Coffeyville used to be the host of an Amazon warehouse which employed 10,000 people in the area. However, the company decided to remove itself from Coffeyville in 2014, resulting in thousands of job losses, which only worsened when Southwire, another large manufacturer, also shut its doors.
Lawton is situated in the southwestern part of Oklahoma, near to the Wichita Mountains in Comanche County, and it was once the third-largest city in Oklahoma. Still, as times have changed, Lawton has slowly lost its citizens to other cities in the state and across the nation.
The municipality annexed Fort Sill hoping that it would bring vibrancy back to Lawton's life, but that couldn't change the city's fate. Joining Fort Sill did affect a slight influx of people according to the 2010 census, but in 2018 there was a 4.1% decrease in Lawton's inhabitants.
Newport might be a small and humble city, but it has been a big part of Kentucky life and served as a favorite for stars like Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, and Dean Martin. From the 1920s to the 1960s, Newport was known as America's Playground, but following its heyday, the population has been in a steady state of decline.
Newport has been experiencing increasing crime rates, which may be why the city is encountering such a dip in population. Between 200 and 2010, there was a 10% drop in population, with a further 1.7% reduction in the 2018 official count.
With the water crisis in Flint being well-documented, the city has become one of North America's most impoverished. General Motors was once the reason behind Flint's booming population, but reducing its operations led to a decline in available jobs.
Back in the 60s, Flint’s population was 196,000, but fast-forward to 2018, and that number has shrunk to 95,943, meaning the city has lost more than half of its people.
Nowadays, many people in Fairmont, Minnesota, have fallen on difficult times. Within the early months of 2015, the city lost Fairmont Foods, and when this significant employer closed, the city’s hospital also started having financial problems. In 2019 rent prices soared to almost 50% higher than the average income in Fairmont, meaning people were being out-priced of the city.
Considering everything, it’s not a massive surprise that Fairmont has lost 5.4% of its residents since 2010, with economic hardships on the rise.
Wilmington in Delaware has been encountering a drop in their local population since the 2000s. A considerable portion of those who decided to leave were younger people, with almost a quarter aged between 18 and 34, but there is some hope that not all young people will go.
Wilmington has good schools, meaning that more parents would want to move to the city to give their kids the best education possible.
North Platte, Nebraska
North Platte is just one of Nebraska's cities and towns across Lincoln County that has seen its population shrink in recent times. North Platte is best known for the museums, historic railways, and freight trains, but despite these attractions, residents across the county are decreasing.
North Platte saw an emigration of 3.7% of its inhabitants since 2010. It’s believed that economic issues are the leading cause of this trend.
Youngstown was traditionally known as a center of steel production. Still, when the U.S. steel industry fell into decline in the 1970s, it was forced to redefine itself, leaving communities throughout the city without work, resulting in a drop of over 60% of its population since 1959.
In the 1950s, Youngstown had a flourishing population of 168,000, but those numbers have since been waning; a census in 2018 confirmed there were now just 64,958 residents living in the city. With a lack of jobs giving people a fair living wage, many citizens explore new areas for a fresh start in their lives.
Alaska has had to take it up a notch to get more people to move to the state in recent years, and according to the 2010 census, it worked! People were granted economic incentives to relocate to Anchorage by the Alaskan state, and in 2010 the population grew by 12%.
Even though Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, it still seems as though they struggle, with the number of people fleeing Anchorage on the rise.
Claremont, New Hampshire
There aren’t many cities in New Hampshire to pick and choose from, but the three most populated cities all saw an influx of residents. Nashua, Manchester, and Concord relished in their growth spurts, but Claremont was left behind. This small city lost an approximated 2.9% of its people, and there are two main reasons why they left.
Claremont has the highest property taxes in New Hampshire, with an average household income of 70% less than the state average. It would appear that Claremont is simply unaffordable
Charleston, West Virginia
West Virginia has been ranked as one of the worst states to live in the US, so it’s not exactly a surprise that people are leaving in droves. A report published in 2018 found that over 11,000 people left West Virginia in just one year. With so many people scrambling to relocate, Charleston is one of the worst-hit cities. Despite being the state capital and offering many attractions, people just don’t want to stick around in Charleston any longer. In the last ten years, Charleston has lost a tremendous 8% of its residents.
Ocean City, New Jersey
Despite Ocean City's thriving tourism industry, its residents have been migrating to other cities since 2000. In a space of 10 years, from 2000 to 2010, 23.9% of Ocean City’s residents decided to move to another city.
The population has dwindled by an additional 5.6% since 2010, with the high cost of living the most conceivable reason for this trend in migration. People from across New Jersey are leaving for better prices as the State's residential prices are astronomical.
Louisiana is known for its many festivals; even in Shreveport, there's a springtime celebration, “Holiday in Dixie,” and the “Red River Revel,” an arts and crafts fair. Still, even that couldn't keep the population stable. Shreveport has seen its population decrease by 5.2% since 2010 with predictions that this trend will continue.
Like many midsize American cities, Shreveport deals with infrastructure concerns, salary inequality, and crime. But there are still the many positives to this city, like friendly people, beautiful green spaces and great food!
As Hawaii's capital city, Honolulu has lost 11.1% of its population, according to the 2018 census. It’s believed that the main reason why so many people are leaving Hawaii’s famous city is due to its rising living costs.
With the estimated living cost in Honolulu considered to be almost 30% higher than living in Austin, Texas, there are many cheaper alternatives elsewhere in the US. It’s easy to understand why people are leaving Honolulu for more affordable cities.
Niagara Falls, New York
Niagara Falls might be home to one of the most iconic sights in the US, but the city itself has experienced a steady decline and has fought to hold onto its city status in more recent years. In 2010 the city had lost over half of its residents in the '50s.
The 2018 census rates Niagara Falls lost a further 4.1% of its population, with the manufacturing industry's decline likely to be the main reason.
Mississippi is experiencing a mass migration across many towns and cities as people are discovering other parts of the country with more opportunities. Some believe the state’s shortage of jobs and lack of leisure pursuits only encourage people to reevaluate where they live.
With the unemployment rate higher in Mississippi than the national average, Jackson is struggling the most. Jackson’s population has dwindled by 5.2% since 2010 as people are looking for a better quality of life somewhere else.
None in Idaho
While multiple smaller cities across the US feeling decrease in their population, there wasn't a single city in Idaho. It appears that people are coming from all over to find a place to call home in Idaho, and they aren't only moving to the cities. By a bunch of measures, Idaho is a land of opportunity.
Every town and city in Idaho is growing, and even the smaller towns dotted around the state are facing population increases. Idaho's population has thrived for many years, with Mountain Home seeing its population flourish by a massive 80% since 1990.
Many towns and cities in Nevada experienced a population influx, so Lovelock's small-town saw the most substantial drop in residents. The city saw 17.5% of its people disappear, but that only results to about 395 people.
Nevada seems to be flourishing, and even Las Vegas experienced a noteworthy increase of 10% in their residents. It's not all bad news for Lovelock, though, with a federal donation of $600,000 granted to the town to spruce up its outside areas to help bring new citizens.
From the Civil War back in 1861 to the modern civil rights era, Selma, Alabama, has played an indispensable role in American history. But from 2010 to 2018, the population of Selma has fallen by 13.8%.
It would appear that younger people have been leaving Selma ever since the 60s, and according to a census in 2018, the population dropped a staggering amount from 20,756 in 2010 to 17,886.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
There was a sneaky rush of people to Pine Bluff after the Second World War, and the town reached its largest population during the 1970s of 57,400. But due to outbound migration, the Arkansas city sustained a loss of 10,592 residents between 2010 and 2018, with the advancement of technology believed to be a significant contributing factor.
The city is one of the lowest-paid in the United States, and as a result, people are leaving to find better-paying jobs elsewhere.
Spartanburg, South Carolina
South Carolina's main cities are swelling, but Spartanburg defies this expansion; it's the only South Carolina city to experience this slump. Since the 1970s, Spartanburg experienced a 15.5% loss in their populace, while the other major cities in SC grew by at least 9%.
Some cities increased their population by 50% during this time, meaning Spartanburg is dawdling far behind. A generous pledge of $27 million by the Tindall Corporation to develop its operations in the city could give Spartanburg the boost it needs.
Maine residents have fled to other states searching for better job opportunities, with Bangor suffering the most significant shrink. Bangor is recognized as the "Queen City" of Maine. Around 3.2% of Bangor's residents have left since 2010, essentially due to the limited job market.
Six of Bangor's leading paper mills had no other choice but to shut down in recent times, meaning lay-offs for thousands across the city. Once the paper industry started to decline, it was only a matter of time before residents would search for employment in other cities.
Goldsboro, North Carolina
We can't blame anyone who lived in Goldsboro for leaving after two hydrogen bombs were dropped on the city back in the 60s. Fortunately, neither of them detonated and while one was retrieved, the other has still not been found.
Goldsboro's residents learned in 2013 that three out of four switches that prevented the device's detonation from going off failed. With this kind of risk, 6% of Goldsboro's population has concluded that sticking around wasn't exactly worth it.
Washington has experienced some of the most notable inrushes of people, with over a million new residents relocating since 2010. As so many people have migrated in, many cities and towns have received a boost, but not all.
One city that has struggled to keep hold of its existing residents, never mind attracting new ones, is Hoquiam. This city has witnessed its population fall since 2000 to 8,596, with poor job prospects the main cause for people leaving Hoquiam behind.
Like Texas, Utah is also relishing in their population boom with people from all over the country wanting to move there. There weren't any major cities or towns experiencing population decreases, with some places feeling unprecedented growths.
Every single city and town with a population of more than 10,000 experienced a population increase except Taylorsville, which has heeded a piddling reduction since 2010.
Although it might be one of the most well-known cities in America, Baltimore has witnessed a steady decline in population since the 50s. With 1.2% of the city’s population leaving between 2018 and 2019, which means approximately 7,200 people backed their bags in search of greener pastures.
Baltimore's cost of living is 17% higher than the national average and that problem is part of a broader issue for Baltimore, with an estimated 3% population decrease since 2000.
Johnstown was a prospering city in the 20s and 30s, with over 65,000 residents. The lucrative steel and coal manufacturers helped fuel Johnstown back in its heyday, but as times have changed, so has its outlook. Those industries are no longer what they once were, and Johnstown has seen its population reduced to just 19,447, according to the 2018 census.
Many Pennsylvania cities have been dealing with this same problem as its steel industry faces decline, with half of Pittsburgh's residents leaving since the 1950s.
Jamestown, North Dakota
North Dakota has demonstrated time and again to be one of the most popular states, and 2017 was the first time in 15 years that this state declined its population. People have been crowding to North Dakota for more than a decade, but Jamestown might be behind the state's first population decline ever recorded in 2017.
The small city has lost around 2% of its population, according to the 2018 poll, which isn't something unusual for this small city.
Birmingham has arguably the most fragmented community in the Southeast because of its history. If a do-over button existed for cities, Birmingham would be at the top of that list. There might, MIGHT, be nice people in the area with a sweet southern charm but when it comes to the city looking after it's own, you'll be pressed to find a helpful response.
There are very few resources for the needy and few services for low-income families that help the people. So we totally get why people are leaving Birmingham in troves!
If you want to fit in here, you better get yourself some army pants and put on some weight. Memphis is another city in the South that's shedding a lot of its residents recently. As a big city, it was pulsating with culture and life, so what went awry with this city and its potential for a great urban revival?
Among the headwinds facing this city are limited public transportation and crime that does not sleep.
Hartford saw its population shrink by 5 percent last year. The reason? Hartford is not a great place to live; it's not visually appealing, and it isn't safe either. To add to that, economic problems at the state level aren't helping, while crime and the cost of living are headaches for residents.
Basically, everything needs to change in Hartford, starting with improving the roads to expanding their education system.
Tuskegee has very little to offer it's residents, with few job opportunities, limited housing, expensive electrical bills. Tuskegee has a couple of run-down parks and sketchy nightclubs.
Even for this small town, the sense of community is lacking so much so that 13% of its residents decided to pack up and leave! This city also has a high unemployment rate of 10%, which is twice as much as the entire state of Alabama.
The tiny, 4,000 person port town of Valdez on Alaska's south coast is an amazing place if you enjoy the great outdoors. With the wild, protected waters and the peaks of the Chugach Mountains that dominate the surrounding landscape. But not everyone wants to feel as if they're actually living in the wild, at least not all the time.
The main reason behind this city's shedding population could be the high unemployment rate, plus the cold weather means people bask in the snow when it’s -20 degrees F outside!
Buffalo, New York
The decline of our Buffalo can be traced to the severe but relatively gradual evaporation of an important industry. We can't blame people for leaving Buffalo, without any proper industry, you're left with terrible weather - we would say it's winter most of the time!
And then there's the city's housing market which might be more affordable than some other places, but most residences are old and falling apart, and if that wasn't enough, the taxes are very high.
Out of the largest U.S. cities with 300,000 people or more, only five – including Cleveland – have a population that is now smaller than even just five years ago. Cleveland is extremely dreary with all of the rain in the fall, but besides the bad weather, the city needs some serious help if it wants to stop shedding so many citizens.
It may not be the worst place to raise a family, but it's also not the best place either. Basically, the city needs to improve their school and repair their roads.
Vineland, New Jersey
The city of Bridgeton lost about 5,732 people between 2010 and 2018. New Jersey is one of the slowest expanding states in the nation. In the last eight years, the Garden State's population expanded at a leisurely pace of just 1.2%, a fraction of the 5.8% national population growth over that same period.
Population growth across the state has been hampered lately by people increasingly getting carried away by, as you could guess by now, better career opportunities. In 2018, the unemployment rate was 7.5% in Bridgerton and 4.1% in New Jersey.
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Sierra Vista may be a sorry excuse for a town that only exists because of the army base. It's basically a retirement village with nothing to do. It’s quiet which is great if you don't mind some down-time, but otherwise, this town isn’t going anywhere.
Surrounded by towering 10,000-foot mountains and known as the “Humming Bird Capital of the U.S.,” Sierra Vista is primed for outdoor exploration, but in spite of that, about 7,500 people moved out of Sierra Vista in the last eight years.
Farmington, New Mexico
Farmington went through numerous "oil and gas" booms during the 20th century, and at one time, Farmington was the leading producer of oil and gas in the state of New Mexico. Over the last few years, however, Farmington's population declined by about 4.0% over a period when every other metro area in New Mexico grew by at least 3.0%.
Perhaps if compared with other tiny towns in New Mexico some might like this sort of laid-back town with nothing to do, but most people don't and scoot on out when they get the chance.
Watertown, New York
Overall, Watertown is an alright place to live, not terrible but not great either. Watertown is one of three cities in upstate New York to report near nation-leading population decline in the last nine years. Basically, 14,000 people moved out of the city than moved in.
The economy in Upstate New York lags behind most of the nation, and more people than usual decided to take the leap and move on out. Basically, people are leaving because they are overtaxed, overregulated, and property costs are too high.
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
North Carolina is such a beautiful state, known for its gorgeous weather as well as some of the nicest neighbors around, so why are there those who leave Rocky Mount while others are flocking to this state? In the last eight years, the state's population ballooned by 8.5%.
But Rocky Mount residents were more likely than other residents across the state to struggle financially, so of course, who could blame them for saying their goodbyes and clearing out to another town?
Saginaw may be a funny name for a city, but their population decline is no laughing matter! With a reported 4.5% fall in population over the last ten years, it's one of Michigan's largest declines. As we all know, crime can considerably diminish the quality of life in any city.
It goes without saying that crime goes hand in hand with poverty, so the best way to reduce crime is to provide more employment opportunities, with decent wages.
Elmira, New York
The vast majority of the people in Upstate NY live in smaller cities, take Elmira as an example, where even a small decline is profoundly felt. After losing a net of 4,644 residents, Elmira's population is 5% smaller now than in 2010.
There are the everyday burdens we all face, and then there are those burdens those in Elmira and to deal with. Since 2018, there were 2,424 fewer jobs in Elmira and the area's unemployment rate of 4.5% is well above the 3.9% national unemployment rate.
Decatur has been said to have a funky smell, which comes from the crops grown on farms and processed in its many agribusiness industries. This put Decatur on the map, so in a way, the city is lucky to have what you call funky smells, or is it? Those reeking smells didn't stop residents from leaving! Who wants to live in a smelly town?
Imagine every time you have guests over you have to apologize for the smell and explain how it's not you, it's the crops down yonder. They won't say anything, but they'll be thinking, "Sure it is..." with an unconvincing smile.
Weirton, West Virginia
Welcome to the land where the hillbilly was born and is still going strong. No wonder people are leaving Weirton; there is little opportunity for career growth, extremely conservative beliefs, little diversity, poor healthcare, and horrible school systems all make this terribly small town a nightmare to raise a family in.
On top of all that, Weirton has an aging population, with more than one in every five Weirton residents 65 or older. With nothing to do except go to Wal-Mart if you want anything to do after nine pm, we'd also want to scoot on out if we lived here.
Danville is in the heart of the rust belt, and its population has been steadily declining for years. The area is full of people who simply can't afford to live anywhere else. With that being said, you can buy a house there for less than the price of a new car... But then, you'd have to live there.
More than 5,000 more people moved out of Danville alone, contributing to a 5.9% overall population decline. It seems that Danville's loss is a microcosm of a more widespread problem across Illinois, over half a million people left Illinois since 2010!
Beckley, West Virginia
Many people are leaving Beckley, as there's always a dark cloud over this place. The only thing there is to do in Beckley is to eat sketchy food or shop at makeshift stores, in other words, it's not a diverse place at all.
Even the cops, supposedly there to protect you, will rip your vehicle to shreds looking for any reason to arrest you. Happiness is not allowed here, so it would be best to stay far away from this dreadful place. Just like the rest of West Virginia, Beckley needs help to overcome its opioid epidemic.
Detroit grew considerably over the first five decades of the 20th century – from 285,704 in 1900 to 1.85 million in 1950, becoming the fifth-largest city in the country. Just as heavy industry growth helped Detroit become the flourishing motor manufacturing capital, rapid declines in the sector led to heavy job losses and its population's mass exodus.
As is generally the case, Detroit struggles with high violent crime and poverty rates. Nearly 40% of the city's community lives in poverty.
Anniston lies nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, with many good people and a lot of Baptist churches. But over the past decade, Anniston and the surrounding area's population dwindled by 3.5% – even as the state of Alabama's population grew by 2.1%. This shift happened as people moved out in favor of areas with better employment opportunities.
Over the last decade, the number of jobs in the metro area fell by 4.8%. The Anniston metro area's job market remains worse than it is across the state as a whole. In 2018, 4.7% of this city's workers were out of a job compared to Alabama's 4.1% unemployment rate.
The decrease in Altoona's people can be due in nearly equal parts to natural population decline – fewer births and more deaths – as well as net outbound migration. With Altoona being a lovely city set in Blair County, Pennsylvania, it's currently home to nearly 5,000 fewer people than ten years ago.
Over the last decade, Pennsylvania's population grew by 0.8%. Many of the fastest shrinking cities in the country tend to have lower incomes. In Altoona, the typical household earns $45,664 a year, well below the median annual household income of $56,951 across Pennsylvania.
The general atmosphere in Willowbrook is very tense. The crime in this area is not a myth. Critical issues also include socio-economic difficulties, cultural division, limited health care, and gang violence. Organizations have long focused on the community, but their plans have not always gained enough traction.
Most would perceive Willowbrook and the adjacent communities of Watts and Compton as ground zero for poverty, gang violence, and low educational attainment. However, like many communities, Willowbrook is comprised of complex identities.
Pawcatuck is a neat little village-town in the overly-price County of New London in Connecticut, with a small population of 5,249. Living in Pawcatuck offers residents a sparse suburban feel, and most residents own their homes.
Many families live in Pawcatuck, and residents tend to lean liberal. The public schools in Pawcatuck are highly rated, but beyond that, there's not much room for expansion. Connecticut itself is also quite expensive...
North Star, Delaware
Delaware is known for its lack of diversity, but it does make up for that by being incredibly average, and North Star is no exception. Transportation in this city will be an issue for you if you don't have your own car.
It could be a great place to live if you want to embrace the cookie-cutter way of life. The city saw a 7% decline in its population in the last seven years, which is quite significant for an average suburban town.
Zephyrhills lacks good quality restaurants, has too many unkept trailer parks, with unlit roads and a much older snowbird population outnumbers young families, oh and there's a lack of sidewalks. With 19% of residents leaving Zephyrhills, with a total population of 4,734, that's quite a dent!
It's not difficult to see why so many have left; it's very slow-paced, mostly due to the elderly population and the fact that there's not much to do around. People are nice for the most part; however, driving must be horrible here.
Reidsville is a small, modest town where you can live reasonably. With a total population of 2,652, it would be a great place to live in if you like being in a tight-knit community where everyone knows you and your business. Apparently, lots of opportunities for rock hunting, whatever that is.
We were hard-pressed to find out why people are leaving Reidsville, 38% since 2010, but maybe it had to do with the fact that it's so incredibly small and just like any other city in Georgia, the only ambitions amongst its residents are to get your grease on.
Ahuimanu may be pretty, but it also happens to be isolated, boring, public schools are terrible here. It's quite a rural town that could contribute to its 17% drop in population! Resources are limited here so that could also be why so many people would rather move in search of a more sustainable place.
In recent years locals are leaving the islands in increasing numbers, citing the high cost of living in Hawaii—especially housing costs—and the lack of job opportunities suited to their skills and interests.
As you may already know, Idaho has nothing else going for it other than potatoes, while Kamiah might a beautiful town, there's not much else going on, besides a few bars and one restaurant that closes at 4 pm, leaving a lot to be desired. Over the last decade, the population has dropped by 12%.
With all that said, it's still a stunning place to stop through on the way to Montana. There's no traffic - ever - so it's an easy commute around town—beautiful scenery, wildlife everywhere, great fishing and hunting.
Shorewood Forest, Indiana
Shorewood Forest is a small town in Indiana with a population of 2,742. Living in Shorewood Forest offers residents a rural feel, with many retirees calling it home. 17% of Shorewood Forest's residents have left in the last seven years, which is a sizable chunk of its already small population.
After some digging, we noticed that many of its younger citizens have set out in search of better opportunities, after all, Indiana is the state where people ride tractors for fun because there is absolutely nothing else to do there.
While some leave searching for better opportunities, others just want to get away from all the crowds, like Anaheim. Even though it's very diverse, the city thrives off tourism since it's the home of Disneyland, but that also means the hustle and bustle can get a bit much.
California's high cost of living, from housing to taxes, can also be blamed for Anaheim's decrease, which totals 5% in the last five years.