As Waterloo Region grows, other places die.

empty cityIt seems funny. There was a story in the newspaper on the weekend about how Waterloo Region is growing, now one of the top ten biggest metropolitan areas in Canada. Looks like we made the big time.

The article said that we’d be almost as 730,000 residents by the year 2031. That’s 20 years time. It’s hard to imagine. But then, things are always changing.

At the same time there are cities and regions in Canada losing their losing populations. One that comes to mind is Windsor, I was down there last summer and saw lots of abandoned homes. I’m sure there are mining towns in northern Ontario and farm town dotted through the prairies too that are shrinking.

But as the USA is almost ten times the size of Canada, what happens there is ten times bigger. I just happened across this article called “American cities that are running out of people” and the statistics are sad and amazing.

New Orleans lost more than a quarter of its population as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Other cities that relied on flagship industries like coal, steel, oil and auto related manufacturing lost major parts of the population in the last generation. Cities like Rochester, Cleveland, and Buffalo have declining population because they were once trade hubs.

Here are some of the statistics:

Rochester, New York lost over 12,000 people in the past 10 years. That’s a 5% drop.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania lost 22,000 people in the last 10 years. That is almost a 7% drop in population.

Cleveland, Ohio’s population has fallen by almost 10% in the last 10 years. More than 45,000 people moved away.

The article is here if you want to see the others. Ten or twenty years can make a world of difference.

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