St. Louis, Baltimore, And 10 Other Shrinking Cities

June 22, 2017

The population of the greater St. Louis area dropped 1.1 percent to 2.8 million residents over the last year, the largest drop among the nation’s 53 largest metro areas.

CBS News parsed recently released Census data to find 12 shrinking cities. Most of the list is made up of former industrial powerhouses, including Baltimore (1.1 percent decline over the last year), Milwaukee (0.7 percent), and Detroit and Cleveland (0.5 percent each).

Even Pittsburgh, a city that’s becoming popular for new college grads, experienced a 0.1 percent dip in population.

Shrinking cities can end up in a negative feedback loop. Since a smaller tax base can lead to higher taxes on the remaining residents, some may grow frustrated and depart for the suburbs or cheaper cities. That then puts more pressure on city leaders to raise taxes on the remaining residents, keeping the cycle going.

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