Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Incredible Shrinking Cities

Nominal out-migration continues to dog Pittsburgh. During the period of July 1st, 2004-July 1st, 2005, Pittsburgh ranked 10th for fastest shrinking cities with populations over 100,000.

Pittsburgh city, Pennsylvania-1.3
Cleveland city, Ohio-1.3
New Orleans city, Louisiana-1.4
Detroit city, Michigan-1.4
Boston city, Massachusetts-1.5
Hialeah city, Florida-1.5
Fayetteville city, North Carolina-1.6
Cincinnati city, Ohio-1.6
St. Louis city, Missouri-1.8
Norfolk city, Virginia-2.3

This above list tracks population change, which includes replacement population (births and in-migration). Many of those leaving the city stay in the region. But for those who leave the area, where are they going?

Below is a list of the top 20 county destinations for people leaving Allegheny County from 1995-2000:

Cook CountyIL1,926
Maricopa CountyAZ1,804
Los Angeles CountyCA1,691
Fulton CountyGA1,118
Broward CountyFL1,072
Palm Beach CountyFL878
Pinellas CountyFL874
San Diego CountyCA872
Cobb CountyGA731
Santa Clara CountyCA638
District of ColumbiaDC633
Hillsborough CountyFL630
Orange CountyFL619
Volusia CountyFL588
Orange CountyCA569
DeKalb CountyGA541
Lee CountyFL530
Fairfield CountyCT475
New Castle CountyDE469
Sarasota CountyFL443

The top cities for the Burgh Diaspora are Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, DC. Florida is clearly the top state, something not lost on Primanti Brothers.

Ex-Pittsburghers are chasing more than jobs. They are chasing sun and fun. Maybe those who went to Chicago could be enticed to return, but most of these economic migrants would be better served if someone brought Pittsburgh to them.

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