From 2000 to 2010 the U.S. population increased by the smallest rate than at any time since the Great Depression, rising 9.7 percent to approximately 308 million people, according to new census data. It’s yet another sign of the tough times that many Americans faced during the second half of the 2000s due to an ailing economy, but it only begins to paint a picture of the country’s money woes.
In several dozen cities nationwide, the population actually declined significantly as residents presumably began to flee the region’s toxic financial atmosphere, or perhaps in some cases, even held off on having kids due to a lack of resources.
We used the most recent data from the Census Bureau on every metropolitan area with a population exceeding 100,000 to find the 30 cities that suffered the steepest population decline between 2000 and 2009. Then, in an attempt to look ahead toward the future of these regions, we analyzed demographic changes to find which ones experienced the biggest drop in the number of residents under 18. In this way, we can see which cities may have an even greater population decline ahead due to a shrinking population of young people.
Here are the 10 cities that had the steepest drop in overall population as well as the largest decline in the number of residents under the age of 18.