Shrinking Cities

The preliminary census data is out and a trend spotted in earlier censuses was confirmed.  People are fleeing cities in droves.  

Take Missouri for example.  St. Louis is now the 3RD largest city in the state.  According the 2010 census figures, St. Louis has a population of 319,000.  St. Louis is unique in that the city and county have the same borders.  In comparison, Kansas City has a population of 460,000 and St. Charles, once a St. Louis suburb, has a population of 365,000.  St. Charles is now the 2ND largest city in Missouri.

St. Louis isn’t alone.  Chicago’s population has shrunk to 1920s levels. In 1950, Chicago had a population 3.6million. By 2010, its population has fallen to 2.7million.

There are many theories why this shrinkage has occurred.  All of them have, in some aspect, population flight away from the urban city government, high crime, high taxes, poor services, and governmental corruption. What is surprising in Chicago is that it isn’t white flight of people fleeing Chicago, it’s BLACK flight!

The exodus took a big chunk out of the city’s black population in particular, shrinking it to 887,608 from 1,065,009, according to William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington. “The black decline is really powering the city loss,” Mr. Frey said, calling it “part of the great reverse migration to the South.” 
There’s been shrinkage here in Kansas City as I posted in March of last year in a post, “Darwin Lives! KC School District Evolution in Action.”  
The bare facts are that the enrollment today is the same as that in the district in EIGHTEEN EIGHTY-NINE! The same number of students as were in the district 121 years ago!

How had this come about? There are many versions and responses to that question. The core reason is that parents, over the last forty years, left the district. They fled the district for the suburbs and further out. They fled the governmental intrusion, the union takeover, the liberal agendas aimed to improve attendance by emphasizing “self esteem” and other social theories that all failed to accomplish the basic goal, the basic reason for the district’s reason for being—educating the children.

Our cities are shrinking but the overall population of the country is increasing.  Where is this occurring?  I’m not sure but I saw this blurb on Drudge over the weekend.

February 24, 2011

Texas demographer: ‘It’s basically over for Anglos’

Looking at population projections for Texas, demographer Steve Murdock concludes: “It’s basically over for Anglos.”
Two of every three Texas children are now non-Anglo and the trend line will become even more pronounced in the future, said Murdock, former U.S. Census Bureau director and now director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University.
Today’s Texas population can be divided into two groups, he said. One is an old and aging Anglo and the other is young and minority. Between  2000 and 2040, the state’s public school enrollment will see a 15 percent decline in Anglo children while Hispanic children will make up a 213 percent increase, he said.
I’ve often wondered if our country would still exist in a hundred years and if it did, what would it look like?  I think we’re see trends.

Why the Census is critical and must be non-biased

Orson Scott Card has a posting on this topic that goes into much detail. In short, the census determines if new Congressional boundaries are needed, if new Congressional seats are to be added, or deleted from any state. If the liberal metro areas suddenly show a population growth, a new district may be added to that state. The state legislature(s) will then determine new Congressional boundaries depending on the population trends and locations.

Prior to the 2000 census, I lived in Ike Skelton’s district to the south of the KC metro area. (Don’t ask me what the district # is, I don’t know.) Skelton, a democrat was in a district that was shifting to Republican. In 2000, the dems had control of the Missouri state legislature. The northern portion of Cass County is heavily Republican, as is most of Cass County. The dems sliced off the northern portion of Cass County and moved it into the KC district of Emanuel Cleaver where the population was overwhelmingly democrat. That allowed Skelton to retain his seat. If the northern part of Cass had stayed in Skelton’s district, it is quite possible he would have lost his seat to a Republican.

This is just an example why the Census is important. Go read Card’s posting for a greater understanding.