19 Cities Where People Are Moving Away in Droves

It’s a sad fact that cities rise and fall with the times. Whether it’s a lack of money or a tough climate, right now, these 17 cities are struggling to keep their residents.

Watertown-Fort Drum, New York

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In Watertown-Fort Drum, New York, a combination of economic challenges and harsh weather conditions is leading to fewer remaining residents. Despite the presence of the Fort Drum military base, the region couldn’t prevent a 1.6% population decrease due to net migration.

New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana

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The New Orleans-Metairie area, known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant lifestyle, is facing a paradox. Despite its appeal, the region experienced a significant 2.1% decrease in population due to migration. Factors like economic instability, frequent hurricane threats, and escalating living costs are compelling residents to relocate.

Kalamazoo-Portage, Michigan

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Kalamazoo-Portage in Michigan is witnessing a dramatic population decline. From 2016 to 2021, the area experienced a 22.5% drop in population, translating to a loss of 75,769 residents. The steep downward trend is alarming and highlights the area’s substantial challenges in retaining and attracting residents, reflecting deeper socio-economic issues.

Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma

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Fort Smith, spanning Arkansas and Oklahoma, has seen an 11.9% population fall over five years. This means 33,566 people have left, reducing the population to 247,661 by the last count. The significant decline in residents reflects broader issues in the area, impacting its economic and social fabric.

Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana

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The Shreveport-Bossier City area in Louisiana is struggling to maintain its community. With an 11.9% decrease, the area lost 52,612 residents. These numbers are a testament to the region’s challenges in offering sustainable living and working conditions to its residents.

Sioux City

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Sioux City, covering areas in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, is facing a notable demographic shift. The population shrank by 11.0%, which amounts to 18,547 individuals moving away. According to recent figures, the population was 149,400, indicating a significant change and a need for revitalization.

Grand Island, Nebraska

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Grand Island in Nebraska is grappling with significant population shrinkage. An 11.0% reduction in population, resulting in the loss of 9,409 residents, brought the last recorded population to 76,175. These statistics point to challenges in maintaining an attractive living environment for its inhabitants.

Panama City, Florida

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Panama City, Florida, with its attractive coastal location, is experiencing a 10.8% drop in population. This equates to a loss of 21,725 people, reducing the city’s population to 179,168 when measured last. The substantial outflow of residents suggests challenges in balancing growth and sustainability in this coastal city.

Bloomington, Illinois

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Bloomington, Illinois is facing a significant population decline. An 8.8 %fall in population, resulting in 16,437 fewer residents, left the population at 170,889. The waning number reflects broader trends affecting smaller cities in the Midwest, with economic and social factors playing a key role.

Blacksburg-Christiansburg, Virginia

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The Blacksburg-Christiansburg area in Virginia is seeing a dwindling population. An 8.2% decrease, with a loss of 15,007 residents, brought the population down to 168,404. This trend highlights the challenges faced by smaller urban areas in retaining their population amidst changing economic landscapes.

Chico, California

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Chico, located in California, is experiencing a significant reduction in its population. An 8.2% emptier city, amounting to 18,555 people leaving, brought the population to 208,309 at the last record. This demographic change points to the need for more robust strategies to retain residents and foster sustainable growth in the area.

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

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Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is witnessing a substantial demographic shift. A 7.8% drop in population, translating to 7,324 fewer residents, brought the city’s population down to 86,747 in a recent poll. The smaller numbers are indicative of broader socio-economic challenges affecting the city’s ability to maintain and attract residents.

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

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Champaign-Urbana in Illinois was 7.2% smaller, with 17,176 people moving away, resulting in a population of 222,696 by 2021. Such a decrease reflects the challenges faced by the region in offering opportunities and amenities that resonate with the needs and preferences of its residents.

Corpus Christi, Texas

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Corpus Christi in Texas recorded a 6.6% smaller population in 2021. The decline, which represents 30,012 residents moving away, reduced the city’s population to 422,778. The change highlights the issues facing this coastal city in terms of economic stability and environmental factors.

Danville, Illinois

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Danville in Illinois is facing a challenging demographic situation. A 6.4% reduction in population means 5,016 residents have left, bringing the 2021 population to 73,095. The sad trend underscores the need for the city to address the factors leading to this population decline.

Beckley, West Virginia

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The streets in Beckley, West Virginia, are 6.0% quieter, equating to a loss of 7,226 people. The 2021 population stood at 113,698, reflecting the city’s ongoing struggles to retain and attract residents amidst economic and social challenges.

Goldsboro, North Carolina

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When last counted in 2021, Goldsboro in North Carolina faced a 5.9% decline in population, with a loss of 7,315 residents. This reduction brought the population to 116,835, highlighting the need for strategies to reverse this trend and enhance the city’s appeal.

Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH

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The Weirton-Steubenville area, spanning West Virginia and Ohio, saw a 5.8% population reduction. This meant a loss of 7,063 people, with the 2021 population recorded at 113,798, indicating a significant demographic change in this region.

St. Joseph, MO-KS

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St. Joseph, crossing Missouri and Kansas, experienced a 5.7% reduction in population. The figure equates to 7,254 fewer residents, leaving the recorded population at 120,274. The decline points to the broader challenges of maintaining population growth in smaller urban areas.

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