Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boston up, Detroit down

Boston's population is up:
Seeing more traffic on the roads, more homes being built, more people on the sidewalks? There may be a good reason.

Boston's population has jumped to more than 645,000 people, according to new Census estimates released today.

The July 1, 2009 estimate of 645,169 was up up from 636,748, the estimate the year before. And the number capped a decade of strong growth, with the city's population surging by more than 50,000 -- or 9.5 percent -- from the April 2000 Census estimate of 589,143.

With the increase, the city ranked 20th among the nation's largest cities. New York led with nearly 8.4 million residents, followed by Los Angeles, with 3.8 million, Chicago, with 2.9 million, and Houston, with 2.3 million.

Meanwhile, Detroit's population is down sharply:
There was a time when black Americans jumped at the opportunity to settle in Detroit, but that was almost a century ago. The city, which once boasted a thriving auto industry, is now devastated by its collapse. A census data report Tuesday revealed Detroit’s population has plummeted 25 percent over the past decade.

According to The New York Times, more people have left Detroit (237,500) than New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (140,000). It is now smaller than Austin, Texas and Charlotte, NC.

At one point, 83 percent of Detroit’s population was black. Brookings Institution demographer William Frey says that the city lost 185,393 black residents in the last decade. He attributes the cause to the large amount of housing foreclosures in the city. Many blacks have moved to neighboring suburbs, but neighboring suburbs have also faced population losses.

Both are post industrial cities with brutally cold winters.

One has good government, an educated citizenry, safe streets and good schools.

The other has a notoriously corrupt government, a citizenry dependent on government handouts, out of control crime and horribly unsafe schools.

Is it any wonder that one city is up and the other is disappearing?

No comments: