Chain Reactions

Go West, or South, Young Man, But Don't Stay Put

Somewhat overlooked in the aftermath of the Republicans retaking the House in the November 2010 elections was an analysis of what the latest U.S. Census Bureau results portend for the traditional Rust Belt states, many of which have seen their populations fall over the past decade as people flee the cold for the warmer climates. Here at IW HQ in Ohio, for instance, we're losing two U.S. Representatives, which puts Ohio in a tie with New York as the states taking the biggest hit to their representational clout in Congress. (This map shows all the winners and losers in the Census shuffle.)

Logistics provider Penske Truck Rental, which supplies a lot of the do-it-yourself rental vehicles in the country, cites U.S. Census Bureau statistics that say 38 million people moved in 2009, with most (but not all) of those moves being to warmer climates. According to Don Mikes, Penske's vice president of rental, "The patterns we are seeing through consumer truck rentals made online and via our call centers fits the pattern of U.S. population trends. There is a continued heavy migration out of the Midwest and Northeast and into sunny markets."

However, Chicago based in the heart of the Midwest and most definitely not a warm weather city is one of the top five relocation destinations, leading me (an Illinois native) to believe that sometimes culture and panache outweigh the advantages of seeing the sun between November and April. Anyways, here's the list:

1. Atlanta, GA
2. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
3. Phoenix, AZ
4. Orlando, FL
5. Chicago, IL
6. Houston, TX
7. Seattle, WA
8. Denver, CO
9. Sarasota, FL
10. Charlotte, NC

I asked Penske if they had put together a similar list of the top 10 cities people were moving AWAY from; they said they didn't have that information (or it could be they just didn't want to embarrass the cities that would be on such a list). However, I found another such list here, which shows the cities with the steepest population decline, percentage-wise, since the 2000 Census. Discounting New Orleans, a city decimated by Hurricane Katrina, there are two other cities on the list from the Southeast Jackson and Birmingham which illustrates if nothing else that not every southern city is created equal.

Here's the list of the 10 Fastest Shrinking Cities in the U.S.:

1. New Orleans, LA
2. Flint, MI
3. Cleveland, OH
4. Buffalo, NY
5. Dayton, OH
6. Pittsburgh, PA
7. Rochester, NY
8. Jackson, MS
9. Syracuse, NY
10. Birmingham, AL

New York leads the way with three cities out of the Top 10 (or should that be Bottom 10?), while Ohio appears twice.

TAGS: Supply Chain
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