America’s Fastest Shrinking Cities

Print Email

5. Flint, MI
> Population growth (2010-2015):
> Total population: 410,849
> Per capita income: $34,878
> Unemployment rate: 5.5%

Nearly 20,000 more people left than arrived to Flint over the last five years, driving the area’s population loss of 3.3%. The area’s once robust manufacturing industry is no longer attracting the employers, or the young, prospective employees indicative of a healthy economy. The industry employs 16.2% of the city’s workforce, one of the highest percentages.

4. Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ
> Population growth (2010-2015):
> Total population: 126,427
> Per capita income: $36,720
> Unemployment rate: 6.6%

Over the last five years, the number of people living in the Sierra Vista-Douglas area shrank by nearly 5%, the fourth worst decline in the country. Many parts of Arizona, which was hit especially hard during the housing crisis, still have weak economies. In the Sierra Vista-Douglas area, 6.6% of the workforce is unemployed, one of the highest annual unemployment rates nationwide. The rate is down considerably from previous years, however.

3. Johnstown, PA
> Population growth (2010-2015):
> Total population: 136,411
> Per capita income: $37,536
> Unemployment rate: 6.7%

Like in only a few U.S. metro areas, there were more deaths than births over the last five years in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. However, it was outward migration that drove the area’s population decline of 4.9% over that period. Nearly 5,000 more people left Johnstown than arrived in the last five years. Johnstown is part of the rust belt — areas once heavily dependent on manufacturing.