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Minneapolitan

Fastest Growing / Declining Cities In The U.S.

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Thankfully, Hartford isn't on the list...

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Wow... 21,000 new residents in Ft. Worth in one year!? That's awesome. To be honest, I didn't realize Ft. Worth was growing that much since most of the growth, to me, seemed to be occurring north of the Dallas city limits out toward Frisco.

Thanks for posting this!

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SBC, that gain was almost due exclusively through a large land-grab/annexation from what I heard a Ft. Worth forumer say on another board.

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People are certainly spreading out. Maybe that's not a bad thing. I wish somebody would do a population density study. I suspect what you'd see is a South and West that simply has lots of room to grow and a North that is tapped out. I live in Norfolk, which doesn't "feel" in decline, but nonetheless there really is no more open space for it to grow unless you start knocking things down. It certainly then seems quite unfair to label Norfolk in decline when you compare it to these sprawling open-spaced Southern and Western localitites with there endless land - duh. It's like knocking me for not being able to slam dunk a basketball when all of the pros can. I'm simply short and not athletic and they are tall and can jump. The overall population of this country is growing and we can't all fit in NY - so we freakin' spread out! This is pissing me off now!

:rofl:

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Hehe wow, you can really feel the growth out here. I live in Gilbert, which is on that list the 4th fastest growing. It's got a population of 160-170k in 1990 it had 29k. Neighborhoods that were built ten years ago out here are considered outdated. Neighborhoods that are forty years old where I come from are still considered nice.

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Actually cities in the West are probably more "tapped out" than cities in the Northeast. The mountains do a pretty good job of curbing sprawl.

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Yeah, the Southwest's environment actually makes sprawl more dense. Vegas is a perfect example of this. The barren lands and mountains act almost like water.

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SBC, that gain was almost due exclusively through a large land-grab/annexation from what I heard a Ft. Worth forumer say on another board.

Yikes. So it's the direct result of sprawl... and the DFW area is already SO sprawling.

Thanks for the clarification! :)

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I don't trust census estimates all too much, especially after the results of the 2000 census.

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I don't trust census estimates all too much, especially after the results of the 2000 census.

Okay, but then whose estimates do you trust? I'm not saying you're wrong or anything, but I'm curious as to whose estimates you would trust.

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I'm not a big supporter of annual estimates either due to the fact that the official census usually proves them wrong. The numbers are still interesting though.

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I don't trust census estimates all too much, especially after the results of the 2000 census.
I'm not a big supporter of annual estimates either due to the fact that the official census usually proves them wrong.
True. Example:

Grand Rapids:

April 1, 1990 Census: 189,673

July 1, 1990 Estimate: 190,418 (+745, +0.4%)

July 1, 1991 Estimate: 189,681 (-737, -0.4%)

July 1, 1992 Estimate: 189,619 (-62, -0.0%)

July 1, 1993 Estimate: 189,226 (-393, -0.2%)

July 1, 1994 Estimate: 189,052 (-174, -0.1%)

July 1, 1995 Estimate: 188,937 (-115, -0.1%)

July 1, 1996 Estimate: 188,579 (-358, -0.2%)

July 1, 1997 Estimate: 187,656 (-923, -0.5%)

July 1, 1998 Estimate: 186,219 (-1,437, -0.8%)

July 1, 1999 Estimate: 185,009 (-1,210, -0.6%)

April 1, 2000 Census: 197,800 (+12,791, +6.9%) :shok:

July 1, 2000 Estimate: 197,862 (+62, +0.0%)

July 1, 2001 Estimate: 197,394 (-468, -0.2%)

July 1, 2002 Estimate: 196,543 (-851, -0.4%)

July 1, 2003 Estimate: 196,139 (-404, -0.2%)

July 1, 2004 Estimate: 194,689 (-1,450, -0.7%)

July 1, 2005 Estimate: 193,780 (-909, -0.5%)

The 1990's estimates indicated nine consective years of losses. The increase from April 1, 1990 (census) thru July 1, 1999 (estimate) was -4,664 (-2.5%). The increase from April 1, 1990 (census) thru April 1, 2000 (census) was +8,127 (+4.3%). Unless Grand Rapids miraculously gained 12,791 between July 1, 1999 and April 1, 2000, the estimates were way off.

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I don't trust any estimates. I trust census facts when they come out every ten years.

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I don't trust any estimates. I trust census facts when they come out every ten years.

Ahh, okay. Thanks for clarifying. I thought you meant you didn't trust the Census figures at all... my mistake.

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I wonder how the numbers for poplution and growth would look if you could somehow factor in illegal immigrants. For example Phoenix is about neck and neck in population with Philly, somewhere around 1.4 million. Howerver if you factor in illegals i would estimate the phoenix pop to around 2 million, easily securing 5th largest in the nation.

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I wonder how the numbers for poplution and growth would look if you could somehow factor in illegal immigrants. For example Phoenix is about neck and neck in population with Philly, somewhere around 1.4 million. Howerver if you factor in illegals i would estimate the phoenix pop to around 2 million, easily securing 5th largest in the nation.

Do you think Phoenix will pass Houston or Chicago anytime soon in city population?

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I don't think so, Houston and Chicago are close to water. I think the lack of water will force the city to adopt some measures that will ban large lots in future growth so no water is wasted watering a lawn. People moving to Phoenix aren't moving there for the urban experience so I would imagine house's on tiny lots with no yard wouldn't be too popular. I can imagine Phoenix topping out at 2-2.5 million. There's a reason why most of the biggest cities are near water, or not smack dab in the middle of the desert.

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I don't think so, Houston and Chicago are close to water. I think the lack of water will force the city to adopt some measures that will ban large lots in future growth so no water is wasted watering a lawn. People moving to Phoenix aren't moving there for the urban experience so I would imagine house's on tiny lots with no yard wouldn't be too popular. I can imagine Phoenix topping out at 2-2.5 million. There's a reason why most of the biggest cities are near water, or not smack dab in the middle of the desert.

I agree. A city in a desert area will probably have serious water shortage problems before a city near water. Lake Michigan is enormous for a lake, so Chicago should be set. And Houston is so close to the Gulf, they're set as well. I've never been to Phoenix, so I'm not familiar with any substantial lakes in that area!?

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Boston's Overstated 'Exodus'

by Kyle Warwick, The Boston Globe

Recent news stories have described an exodus from Boston. With the portrayal of this negative population trend has been news of a corresponding lack of job growth locally. Combined, these two factors imply that Boston is in trouble, but a closer look at the data shows a different conclusion.

Of course, Boston does face its share of challenges: a high cost of living and housing, energy prices above the national average, and a challenging regulatory and planning environment. The marketplace is, however, sending more positive signals.

For example, there is robust demand in the commercial real estate market, including near record net absorption last year in the office market, sub-4 percent vacancy in the apartment market, a cooling but certainly not collapsing housing market, and hotel occupancy and room rates that are on the rise. These positive market dynamics, counter-intuitive to the notion of an exodus, motivated us at the real estate firm of Spaulding & Slye to take a closer look at the data.

We found that Boston's population losses are overstated. The methodology of Census estimates undercounts population for Boston. Of course, Boston is not growing as fast as Las Vegas or Phoenix, but it is not losing population as fast as the Census has reported.

There are many problems with the methodology used by the Census estimates:

Only domestic migration is included, not immigration. Boston has always had a high volume of immigration that would offset some of the domestic net out migration and perceived exodus.

The Census methodology is not able to properly account for population growth that occurs in group quarters (i.e. dorms and graduate housing -- where Boston has added over 4,600 dormitory beds in 13 dormitories between 2000 and 2005).

The methodology for accounting for changes in housing stock (including only new units and not conversions) and administrative records (income tax returns) are suspect given Boston's housing construction and demographic trends.

Possibly the most compelling case for the overstated losses is recent history. The Census Bureau's 1999 population estimate was below the actual population count of 2000. The ``error of closure" was approximately 8 percent.

The Census had reported similar population losses between 1990 and 1999 and then a dramatic 8 percent increase in 2000. This was not the case. Rather, the Census had built up a cumulative undercount over those years and the error became apparent with the actual population count in 2000.

The same misrepresentation is occurring this decade. We estimate, using the 1990s error of closure as a guide, that the population change between 2000 and 2005 for Boston is far less than the 5 percent loss reported by the Census.

Recent revisions to last year's employment figures as well as accelerated growth this year show that Boston's job market isn't as bad either. Particularly striking was the revised growth rate estimate from office-using sectors, which more than doubled from 0.9 percent to 1.9 percent. These are not new jobs this year, but rather jobs that were added last year but somehow not counted originally by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The largest positive revision impacted the financial sector, the technology-related information sector, and the education and healthcare services sectors, all typically well-paid, sought-after jobs that Boston has long depended on. In its March 2006 revision the Bureau of Labor Statistics found 8,700 jobs in these three sectors that were not originally counted.

In addition to the 2005 revisions, job growth has accelerated in the first three months of 2006 in many sectors. More than 25,600 jobs were added from March 2005 through March 2006, with construction, financial activities, professional and business services, and educational and health services leading the way. The improved fundamentals and healthier job market should increase the comfort level of many with Boston's economy, and the increase in jobs would suggest that people are more likely to stay.

Last, the real estate markets are healthy. The office market in Boston continues to recover, having just started its fourth consecutive year of positive net absorption. Apartment vacancies are low and the inventory has grown, and owned units (i.e. condos) have also increased in the city.

The positive change in employment, population, and the real estate markets are reinforced by public infrastructure investments, planned and permitted avenues for growth, and savvy private investment dollars that have flowed into Boston in recent years. These, along with the recovery and growth of the education, technology, biomedical, and financial services industries that fuel Boston, suggest that the future of Boston is not as dire as one may think.

Kyle Warwick is regional director of Spaulding & Slye.

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^ Good article. Census estimates don't take into account immigration? That seems a little ridiculous if you ask me, no wonder they're so off.

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I don't think so, Houston and Chicago are close to water. I think the lack of water will force the city to adopt some measures that will ban large lots in future growth so no water is wasted watering a lawn. People moving to Phoenix aren't moving there for the urban experience so I would imagine house's on tiny lots with no yard wouldn't be too popular. I can imagine Phoenix topping out at 2-2.5 million. There's a reason why most of the biggest cities are near water, or not smack dab in the middle of the desert.

I think the reason the biggest cities are near water traditionally stems from accessibility and port availability. When many of the large coastal cities were settled, boats were the only form of long-distance transport. Being inland or far away from a waterway (such as the Mississippi River) made it nearly impossible to have goods delivered there.

I don't think that paradigm matters much anymore, with the Interstate system, railways and air cargo. That's why you'll continue to see cities develop like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta that are nowhere near water. Especially as you see more and more people move away from potential coastal natural distaster sites (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, Tsunamis(?)) due to both fear and jacked up insurance rates which make it cost-prohibitive to live there.

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I didn't say all inland cities, just those that are in the middle of the desert. I would take a guess Atlanta and Dallas has better access to underground water compared to Phoenix and Las Vegas. These things will begin to take their toll when everyone moving to Phoenix and it's metro area demand that they get at least a half acre of land to live on. You can only imagine how much water is being wasted on people watering their lawns. It's not a good idea to let the typical big city sprawl get out of hand in the desert.

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It's not a good idea to let the typical big city sprawl get out of hand in the desert.

Definitely can't argue with that! :)

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