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Fastest Shrinking City in Every State

Salt Lake City, Utah 15.6%

Salt Lake City, Utah 15.6%

Utah is one of the fastest-growing states out there, accompanying Idaho and Nevada. Every single city with a population of 10,000 or more saw growth. One city that showed the least amount of growth, however, was Salt Lake City, which may potentially see a decline in the future.

From 2010 to 2020, Salt Lake City increased 15.6% -- we can’t make these numbers up. The original population in 2000 was 181,743, and in 2010, it was 186,440. This makes it one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.  Currently, 2020 population numbers are at 199,723.

(Image via Unsplash)

Dover, Delaware 12%

Dover, Delaware 12%

Dover, Delaware is the second-largest city in Delaware. Out of the major cities in the state, however, it has seen just a 12% increase in population over the past 10 years, from 2010 to 2020.

In 2010, the population of Dover was at 162,310 and in 2020 it was 181,851. Iit is located along the St. Jones River of the Delaware River coastal plain. The city was named by William Penn as Dover in Kent, England.

Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont 6.8%

Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont 6.8%

The Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont area is currently home to a population of about 225,562 people. Those were the numbers in 2020 at least. In 2010, the population was at 211,261, which shows a growth of about 6.8%.

This growth is not high by any means, and it’s the lowest growth of any major city in Vermont. Burlington is the most populous city in the state, and you would expect it to grow more exponentially.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Grants Pass, Oregon 6.5%

Grants Pass, Oregon 6.5%

In 2010, Grants Pass, Oregon had a population of 82,713 according to the census bureau. In the last 10 years, however, the city had a population growth of about 6.5%. Now in 2020, the population was recorded as 88,090. 

Even with its growth, however, the population percentage growth of Grants Pass is one of the lowest since 1890. The city sits along the Rogue River, northwest of Medford and is part of Josephine County, Oregon. 

Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii 6.4%

Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii 6.4%

The Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina metro area of Hawaii represents a population growth of about 6.4%. The area encompasses the entire Island of Maui, yet it is one of the smallest metropolitan areas in the country. 

Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii had a population of 154,834 in 2010, according to the Census Bureau. In 2020, the population rose to 164,754. Growth is on the lower side likely due to a higher cost of living and a somewhat high unemployment rate at around 12%.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Carson City, Nevada 6.1%

Carson City, Nevada 6.1%

Carson City, Nevada has had a population growth of about 6.1% from 2010 to 2020. Carson City had a population of 55,274 in 2010 and in 2020 it had a population of 58,639. These numbers show a population growth higher than 2010 but certainly not a record high. 

Carson City, Nevada is the smallest of the 366 metropolitan statistical areas where this population data comes from. It is the capital of Nevada and the sixth-largest city in Nevada.

Grand Forks, North Dakota 6.0%

Grand Forks, North Dakota 6.0%

Grand Forks, North Dakota is the third-largest city in North Dakota and the municipal area with the lowest growth. In 2010, the population was recorded as 98,461, and in 2020 that number increased to 104,362. 

Grand Forks is part of both North Dakota and Minnesota. The part of Grand Forks located in North Dakota itself has a population of 59,166 compared to 2010 when the population was at 52,838.  

Casper, Wyoming 6.0%

Casper, Wyoming 6.0%

Casper, Wyoming saw a population growth of just 6% in the last year. For 2010, the population was at 75,450, meanwhile for 2020, the population was 79,955. Considering the city’s trends, we may see an increase in 2030, but only time will tell. There's a lot of time between then and now. 

Casper is notably the second-largest city in the state. Casper has the nickname “The Oil City” as it was once an oil boomtown and has an extensive history of cowboy culture. 

Grand Island, Nebraska 5.9%

Grand Island, Nebraska 5.9%

Grand Island, Nebraska has a 5.9% population growth. In 2010, the census showed that the population was at 72,726. In 2020, the population was at 77,038. 

The city of Grand Island, located in the Grand Island metropolitan area has been settled since 1857. The city has received the All-America City Award for a total of four times by the National Civic League.

Pueblo, Colorado 5.7%

Pueblo, Colorado 5.7%

Pueblo, Colorado has increased 5.7% in population since 2010. In 2010, the population of Pueblo was 159,063 and in 2020, it was 168,162. This population increase is somewhat larger than in 2010 and even 2000 but is still minimal compared to other municipals.  

The city itself is the largest municipal in Pueblo County. It is situated on the confluence of the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek. With a population growth of 5.7% we can likely expect a further increase in 2030, but only time will tell.

Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire 5.5%

Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire 5.5%

The Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire is a metropolitan area with a low unemployment rate of 3.2% according to BestPlaces.net and there’s a median home price of $380,400. The population has increased 5.5% likely for these reasons. 

With a lower cost of living and great employment numbers, it's no wonder the Manchester-Nashua area is increasing in population. In 2010, the population was 400,721, and in 2020, the population was 422,937. 

Yakima, Washington 5.5%

Yakima, Washington 5.5%

Yakima, Washington is showing a 5.5% in growth. As the 11th most populated city in the state of Washington, it is one of the worst in terms of growth. The population in 2010 was at 243,231, but for 2021 the number was at 256,728. 

Yakima is 60 miles southeast of Mount Rainier, located in Yakima Valley. The area is notable for its productive agriculture as a region for apples, wine and hop. It actually produces 77% of all hops in the United States.

Pocatello, Idaho 4.7%

Pocatello, Idaho 4.7%

Pocatello, Idaho is the fifth-largest city in Idaho. A small portion of it is home to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in the southeast part of the state. Pocatello is the principal city of the Pocatello metropolitan area.

Pocatello has seen a 4.7% increase over the past 10 years. In 2010, the population number was at 90,656 and in 2020 that number increased to 94,896. The US Census Bureau lists it as the lowest increase among the most populated areas in the state.

Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island 4.7%

Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island 4.7%

Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island is the only major metropolitan area in the state to be featured on the Census Bureau’s data map. But with only a 4.7% increase in population, it shows people aren’t exactly flocking to Rhode Island.

Rhode Island made headlines when 2018 revealed the state didn’t have enough people to keep two House seats. In an attempt to pump up population numbers, a bill was introduced to provide $10,000 in tax credits for people moving there. It seems to have helped as the numbers have increased from 1,600,852 in 2010 to 1,676,579 in 2020. 

Sioux City, South Dakota 4.4%

Sioux City, South Dakota 4.4%

Sioux City is a city located in both Woodbury and Plymouth counties. It is also part of Iowa and Nebraska. In 2010, the city showed a population of 143,577, and in 2020, increased to just 149,940. 

The portion of the Sioux City statistical area in South Dakota is known as North Sioux City. That area itself only 2,350 residents in 2010. Nevertheless, the 4.4% population increase is on the low side, when in previous years it had been much higher.

Great Falls, Montana 3.8%

Great Falls, Montana 3.8%

Great Falls, Montana is the third-largest city in the state of Montana. The city itself encompasses 22.9 square miles, but the metropolitan statistical area makes up the entirety of Cascade County.

Great Falls has seen just a 3.8% increase in population which is the lowest among Montana’s most populated areas. In 2010, the population was at 81,327. In 2020, the population increased to just 84,414.

Sebring-Avon Park, Florida 2.5%

Sebring-Avon Park, Florida 2.5%

None of the major cities in the state of Florida are showing a decline, but in the state of Florida, there is one populous area that isn’t faring as well in terms of population growth. The Sebring-Avon Park metropolitan area in Florida has had only a 2.5% increase in population in 10 years’ time.

Sebring-Avon Park, Florida had a population of 98,786 in 2010. By 2020, however, the population had increased to only 101,235. It was also the smallest sample size taken from the US Census Bureau.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Roanoke, Virginia 2.2%

Roanoke, Virginia 2.2%

Roanoke, Virginia is a city in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is the largest city in Virginia that is west of Richmond. As part of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area it encompasses a population of over 300K.

Over the past 10 years, from 2010 to 2020, Roanoke has seen an increase of only 2.1%. In 2010, the population was around 308K and now its about 315K. It is difficult to say whether the city will see a decrease or increase come 2030.

Milwaukee-Waukesha, Wisconsin 1.2%

Milwaukee-Waukesha, Wisconsin 1.2%

Even though Wisconsin is increasing in size, the Milwaukee-Waukesha area is growing only marginally at 1.2%. Since 2010, the area has gained only 20K residents. While this may seem like a lot, considering that there were 1,555,908 in 2010, the number is not very high.

In 1960, the population of Milwaukee itself sat at 741,324. Today, that number is as low as 577,222– that’s nearly 200K people. The plan is to bring more tech jobs into the city to keep up with other large cities like Chicago, Madison, and Indianapolis. IN

(Image via Wikipedia)

Jackson, Mississippi 1%

Jackson, Mississippi 1%

Overall, Mississippi’s population is declining. When asked, one resident said that there was a lack of jobs and entertainment. The unemployment rate was 6.2% as of 2020, which is only slightly less than the national average of 6.9%.  Still this slight difference may be enough to bring in residence as Jackson has seen a 1% increase in its population.

Jackson, Mississippi had a population of about 586,320 in 2010. Then, in 2020, the population increased to 591,978 - but again, this is a span of 10 years, meaning that Jackson may be facing a decline as time goes on.

Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa 0.4%

Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa 0.4%

In 2010, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area was home to 167,819 residents. So how much has it grown in 10 years? Not Very much. Now it has 168,461 residents according to the 2020 US Census Bureau statistics. This represents a growth of just 0.4%, which is hardly noteworthy at all. 

In 2000, the numbers weren’t much better either, but the difference was more than just 1K residents. The metropolitan statistical area had a population of 163,706, which meant there were at least 4K more residents by 2010. Will the population shrink in 2030? Could be.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Duluth, Minnesota 0.3%

Duluth, Minnesota 0.3%

Duluth, Minnesota has seen the smallest increase of any state on this list, which means the area could go either way come 2030. The port city of Duluth is the areas fourth-largest in the metropolitan statistical area. 

The Duluth area has seen only a 0.3% increase from 2010 to 2020. In 2010, the area was made up of 290,637 and in 2020, the number was at 291,638. That’s only 1,000 more residents in 10 years!

Topeka, Kansas -0.3%

Topeka, Kansas -0.3%

Topeka, Kansas had a population of 233,870 in 2010, but by 2020, the population had dropped down to 233,158. This isn’t a huge difference, however – only -0.3% - which means it could improve in the future.

Topeka is the capital city of Kansas, which does make the statistics alarming for that reason. The city is located along the Kansas River in Shawnee County. The statistical area is made up of Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage and Wabaunsee Counties.

Kingsport-Bristol, Tennessee -0.6%

Kingsport-Bristol, Tennessee -0.6%

The Kingsport-Bristol, Tennessee area has seen a -0.6% drop since 2010. In 2010, there were 309,544 among the population, but by 2020 there were 307,614. Should residents be alarmed?

Well, in 2000, there was a population of 298,494, which meant there was definitely an increase between 2000 and 2010, where now there is a negative difference. Their poverty rate is at 15.5% according to CensusReporter.org and the median household income is just $48,615.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Bangor, Maine -1.1%

Bangor, Maine -1.1%

Bangor, Maine has seen a 1.1% decrease in population over the last 10 years. In 2010, the population was 153,923. Then by 2020, the population of Bangor was 152,199. This nis nearly 2K less in 10 years’ time, which may spell further disaster in the future.

Bangor, Maine was established by the lumber and shipbuilding industries. Along the Penobscot River, logs were drifted downstream from the Main North Woods and processed at sawmills, and then shipped to ports. The population reached its peak in 1960.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana -1.3%

Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana -1.3%

Recent estimates from the U.S. Census found that the Shreveport-Bossier City area has lost quite a number of residents. Since 2010, it lost 1.3% of its population. As the population drops, you'd hope officials would work harder to maintain their population, but that's not the case. In 2010, the population was 298,604 and is now just 393,406 as of 2020.

When asked, the mayor of Shreveport seems to be in denial, saying, “We are diligently working to obtain accurate population numbers and will be able to better understand our population trends once this process is complete.”

Pittsfield, Massachusetts -1.7%

Pittsfield, Massachusetts -1.7%

Pittsfield’s problems began around the 1980s when General Electric decided to leave the city. When the jobs left, Pittsfield began hemorrhaging residents – around 26.5%. They had no choice but to look for other employment opportunities. From 2010 to 2020, Pittsfield saw a -1.7% change in population.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts had a population of 131,219 in 2010. By 2020, however, the population lowered to 129,026. While it is still the third-largest municipality in the state, the population has seen an obvious decline over the past few decades.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Anniston-Oxford, Alabama -1.8%

Anniston-Oxford, Alabama -1.8%

The Anniston-Oxford, Alabama area has had a 1.8% decline in its population over the past 10 years. The metropolitan statistical area is generally the most populated in Northwest Alabama, but the numbers are dropping to be sure.

The population of Anniston-Oxford, Alabama was 118,572 in the year 2010, then in 2020, the population dropped to 116,441 – a difference of over 2,000. People just aren’t flocking to this area it seems. 

(Image via Wikipedia)

Norwich-New London, Connecticut -2.0%

Norwich-New London, Connecticut -2.0%

Norwich-New London, Connecticut has shrunk 2.0% over the past 10 years. The area had 274,055 in 2010 and it now has 268,555 as of 2020 – a difference of 6,500 over the course of a decade.

Norwich-New London has a fairly high unemployment rate at 9.3% according to BesptPlaces.net. The median home price is 301,400, which isn’t terrible compared to many places. But one factor that may be contributing to people leaving is that the winters can be particularly harsh. 

Fairbanks, Alaska -2.0%

Fairbanks, Alaska -2.0%

Fairbanks, Alaska has also had a 2.0% decrease in its population. The area saw a population of 97,581 in 2010. In 2020, the population lowered to 95,655. 

The city of Fairbanks, Alaska itself has a population of 30,696, but the population was at its peak in 2010. It is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which was the founding campus of Alaska’s University system.

Ocean City, New Jersey -2.1%

Ocean City, New Jersey -2.1%

Ocean City is among the nation's fastest shrinking cities. The population of the area dropped by 2.1% since 2010. That only pales in comparison to the 2000 to 2010 statistics that showed the city itself dropped 23.9%.

What happened? It could be because people just can’t afford to live there. Taxes in New Jersey are outrageous, and the median home cost in Ocean City is a jaw-dropping $617,500.  

Wichita Falls, Texas -2.1%

Wichita Falls, Texas -2.1%

Maybe it's because of all the space or the opportunities, but Texas is another state that’s generally growing at an exponential rate. There aren’t many cities that are losing residents faster than they're gaining.

However, Wichita Falls is seeing a lot of people leaving. It has seen a 2.1% drop. In 2010, the population was at 151,306 and in 2020, the population was at 148,128. Of all the areas in Texas, Wichita Falls is only the 38th most populous city according to data from 2010's Census Bureau statistics. 

(Image via Wikipedia)

Lawton, Oklahoma -2.8%

Lawton, Oklahoma -2.8%

Lawton, Oklahoma has seen a 2.8% drop in its population. Then statistical area encompasses a total area of 1,069.3 square miles. In 2010, the population was at 130,291. Now, the population is 126,652 according to new data in 2020.

The city of Lawton is the fifth-largest in the state and it’s the largest in Western Oklahoma. The area was developed on the reservation lands of Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache Indians and founded by European Americans in 1901. Lawton was once the third biggest city in Oklahoma. Then, it began hemorrhaging citizens, so the city hoped annexing Fort Sill would bring it back. Turns out, that’s just a pipe dream.

Ashland, Kentucky -3.0%

Ashland, Kentucky -3.0%

Ashland, Kentucky is part of the Huntington-Ashland metropolitan area. The city itself had a population of 21,684 in 2010 but that number decreased by over 1,000 in 2020.

The statistical area was comprised of 370,908 people in 2010. Now, it has reduced to 359,862 in 2020. This is a decrease of 3.0% and that number could shrink even more come 2030.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Albany, Georgia -3.2%

Albany, Georgia -3.2%

Albany, Georgia is the principal city in the Albany metropolitan statistical area, which has had a 3.2% decrease in population over the past 10 years. Albany is the only metropolitan statistical area with a decline in its population.

But just how bad are those numbers? Albany had 153,857 people in 2010. In 2020, the area in now home to just 148,922. That’s a loss of over 5,000 people in 10 years and the population may decrease even further as we inch towards 2030. 

Chico, California -3.8%

Chico, California -3.8%

California is the most populated state in the country but that doesn’t mean that everyone is staying. After all, the cost of living is high. While most areas are showing some marginal growth in terms of population, Chico is not one of them.

Chico, California’s population has decreased by 3.8%. Located in Northern California, in 2010, the population of Chico was 220,000. By 2020, the population had reduced to 211,362. The only other metropolitan statistical area to see a decrease was Hanford-Corcoran of Southern California but it was a decrease of just 0.3%.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Sumter, South Carolina -4.0%

Sumter, South Carolina -4.0%

Sumter, South Carolina has decreased by 4% in the last 10 years. The population was at 142,427 in 2010 before it dwindled down to 136,700 in 2020. This is a pretty significant drop but the numbers have gone up and down since 1990, so it may not be permanent.

Sumter was a region once inhabited by the Creek Indians but the 1830 Indian Removal Act forcibly moved them from the area. Nelson Tift was the first European settler to claim lands in the region in 1836, making him the founder of Albany.

Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona -4.5%

Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona -4.5%

Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona is a statistical metropolitan area with a 5.9% unemployment rate, a $45,974 median household income and a median home price of $190,400. These aren’t the worst statistics in the country but people aren’t finding much reason to stay.

Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona has had a 4.5% decrease in its population from 2010 to 2020. In 2010, the population was at 131,346. In 2020, the population went down to 125,447. It is the only metropolitan area to show a definitive decline.

St. Joseph, Missouri -4.6%

St. Joseph, Missouri -4.6%

St. Joseph, Missouri was an area with 127,329 inhabitants in 2010. This number dropped down to 121,467 in 2020. Overall, this represents a 4.6% decrease in the population of this statistical area which includes three counties in Missouri and one county in Kansas.

The city of St. Joseph is located along the Missouri River. It is thirty miles north of Kansas City. It was named after both the biblical Saint Joseph as well as its founder, Joseph Robidoux. Most importantly of all, of course, is that it was the birthplace of Eminem. You’re welcome.

Muncie, Indiana -4.9

Muncie, Indiana -4.9

Muncie, Indiana has also seen a significant drop in its population. The statistical area had a 4.9% drop from 2010 to 2020, which shows the city has a lot of work to keep residents from leaving.

In 2010, the population was at 117,671 and in 2020, it was at 111,903. The incorporated city of Muncie was first settled by the Lenape people in the 1790s. The city was at its peak in 1980 when the city itself had 76,460 people. It is now at 65,194.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Saginaw, Michigan -5.0%

Saginaw, Michigan -5.0%

Saginaw, Michigan has a population of 200,169 in the year 2010. This decreased in 2020 by 5.0% when the population dropped to 190,124. That’s about 10,000 fewer people in the area.

Part of Saginaw County, the city of Saginaw was a thriving lumber town in the 19th century and would become an industrial center in the 20th century. 

Elmira, New York -5.3%

Elmira, New York -5.3%

Elmira, New York had a population of 88,830 in the year 2010. That number decreased in 2020, where the population had changed to 84,148. This was a decrease of 5.3%, making it the fastest shrinking city in the state.

Elmira, New York is the largest city in Chemung County. The area was originally inhabited by the Cayuga nation indigenous tribes until European settlers in the fur trade joined the area as well.

Rocky Mount, North Carolina-5.6%

Rocky Mount, North Carolina-5.6%

Rocky Mount, North Carolina’s population has decreased 5.6%. The 2010 population was 152,392, while the 2020 population was 143,870. These numbers show a significant decrease considering how densely populated the area is. 

The Rocky Mount metropolitan area is often referred to as Twin Counties. The total area encompasses 1,046 square miles. The median income per household is just $42,784.

Weirton-Steubenville, Ohio -6.1%

Weirton-Steubenville, Ohio -6.1%

Weirton-Steubenville, Ohio’s population has dropped 6.1% since 2010. In 2010, the population was 124,454 and now its around 116,903 according to the US Census Bureau’s statistical data. 

The Weirton-Steubenville, Ohio area is located in the Upper Ohio Valley. The population number for 2000 was at 132,008, showing that the area is in further decline. Can it recover? I guess we’ll see.

Farmington, New Mexico -6.4%

Farmington, New Mexico -6.4%

Farmington, New Mexico has had a 6.4% drop in its population since 2010. In 2020, the population was recorded as 121,661. When you compare that to 2010, when the population was 130,044, that’s a pretty significant decrease.

Farmington, New Mexico in San Juan County is one of four metropolitan statistical areas, where population is most dense. The areas historical population reached its peak in 2010, so it difficult to determine whether this drop will be a trend come 2030.

Johnstown, Pennsylvania -7.1%

Johnstown, Pennsylvania -7.1%

Johnstown, Pennsylvania had a population of 143,679 in 2010 according to the Census Bureau which decreased to 133,472 by 2020. Overall, there was a 7.1% decrease in the state’s population.

Johnstown, Pennsylvania is a city in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. It is 56 miles east of Pittsburgh. The city’s history is one of perseverance, as the city has gone through three major floods since it was settled in 1770. 

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Beckley, West Virginia -7.9%

Beckley, West Virginia -7.9%

Beckley, West Virginia is in the county of Raleigh in West Virginia. It was founded in 1838. It was once home to many indigenous peoples until they were displaced by European settlers. By 1880, the population was at 144.

Beckley, West Virginia had a population of 124,898 in 2010, and in 2020, it had a population of 115,079. This shows a -7.9% change in population, which is a clear decline that may likely continue going forward as we in towards 2030.  

Cumberland, Maryland -8.0%

Cumberland, Maryland -8.0%

Cumberland, Maryland has seen a 8.0% decrease in population over the last 10 years. In 2010, the population was 103,299 and in 2020, it had declined to 95,044. 

The city itself is part of the Cumberland metropolitan area that encompasses Maryland and West Virginia. Located on the Potomac River, it is a commercial and business center in the region.

Danville, Illinois -9.1%

Danville, Illinois -9.1%

Danville Illinois is showing a notable 9.1% decline in growth. Of the most populous metropolitan areas in Illinois, this is the worst of them all and the second-worst in the country. 

Danville, Illinois had a population of 81,625 in 2010, and in 2020, they had a population of 74,188. Danville was founded in 1827 and was 60 acres of land donated by Guy W. Smith and another 20 acres donated by Dan W. Beckwith. By 1850, the population was 736.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Pine Bluff, Arkansas -12.5%

Pine Bluff, Arkansas -12.5%

Pine Bluff is known for being one of the lower-income areas in Arkansas, and citizens have had enough of it. The residents have been leaving the town for the last couple of decades. In 2010, the population was 100,258, but the 2020 estimate is 87,751. This is a -12.5% change in population. 

Pine Bluff had reached its population peak of 57,400 in 1970 but saw a decline in 1980. By 1990, the population went back up to 57,100 before gradually declining. It is now the fastest shrinking city in the United States.

(Image via Wikipedia)