Population: Two NJ Cities Made the National Shrinking List?
We all know that here in the Garden State, we boast some of the most amazing beaches worldwide. Our state is renowned for its tourism, attracting visitors from all around the region who enjoy everything we offer, especially during the summer months.
That's why it's pretty unexpected to discover that one of the coastal towns is experiencing a more significant population decrease than others. An article recently published in the Herald Weekly highlighted the cities in America that have seen the most decline since 2010.
While it might not be surprising to find well-known urban centers like Detroit and Baltimore on that list, or even tough weather cities such as Buffalo, Gary, Indiana, and Flint, Michigan, it's not shocking either. These places have been affected by the decline of major industries like automotive, which has led to fewer job opportunities and insufficient wages to sustain a decent living. These factors have played a part in the declining population of these areas.
Before we go on, let's be careful about these results. The way cities are measured can be different. Percentages might make smaller cities with fewer people seem to have more significant changes. For example, if a town with 5,000 people loses 500, it's a 10% decrease. But if a city with 100,000 people loses 1,000, it's only a 1% decrease. The impact on a city can vary. Losing 500 people could be a big deal in one case while losing 1,000 people might matter more in another. So, remember to think about the starting population when looking at each city.
Ocean City, New Jersey
According to the article, Ocean City, New Jersey, in Cape May County in South Jersey, known for its tourism, has experienced a population decline. Over a span of ten years, from 2000 to 2010, approximately 23.9% of the residents chose to move away. Since then, the population has decreased by an additional 5.6%. They say the primary reason behind this trend is the high cost of living in the area.
Vineland, New Jersey
It is quite perplexing that Vineland, along with its neighboring city Bridgeton, is included on the list of cities experiencing a population decrease. According to the article, Vineland has seen a decline since 2010. However, I checked that area's Wikipedia page, and it states that as of the 2020 United States census, Vineland's population reached its highest point ever at 60,780, an increase from the 2010 count of 60,724.
(With conflicting information and the knowledge that Wikipedia can be edited without stringent fact-checking, it's hard to say if cities like Vineland and Bridgeton should be on the list of declining populations.)
Other cities mentioned in the list are Watertown, New York; Elmira, New York; Altoona, Pennsylvania; Niagara Falls, New York; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and Hartford, Connecticut. These cities have experienced population declines for various reasons such as high taxes, regulations, property costs, natural population decline, people moving away, decline of industries, visual appeal, safety concerns, economic problems, high crime rates, cost of living, and challenging weather conditions.
See the complete list here: Why Are These U.S. Cities Shrinking So Fast? – Page 35 – Herald Weekly