Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dark Days for Midwestern Towns

Forbes has created an interesting slideshow of America's fastest-dying towns.

(Don't worry, Memphis isn't on the list. Then again, the places ranked have a population between 20,000 and 65,000.)

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's three-year American Community Survey, Forbes tracked income growth, domestic in-migration, the change in poverty, and the percentage of the population with a bachelor's degree or higher.

Bensenville, Illinois, a town south of Chicago, tops Forbes' list. Other contenders include towns in Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina, and Georgia.

Here's what Forbes said about Middletown, Ohio, which ranked 10th on the list:

"The town's median household income is $37,000, and its poverty level has jumped from 12% in 2000 to 22% in 2007. And it's not likely to get better anytime soon. With only 12.2% of residents possessing bachelor's degrees or better, the city isn't a prime candidate to attract highly skilled jobs that have lifted some other post-industrial cities."

Just for a comparison, I checked Memphis' 2005 - 2007 estimated stats with the American Community Survey. The urban area includes parts of Mississippi and Arkansas and has a median household income of $42,239.

About 16 percent of families in Memphis had an income in the past 12 months below the poverty level.

About 16 percent of the residents have bachelor's degrees, as well. Nine percent of residents have a graduate or professional degree.

No comments: