'Mistakes by the Lakes' getting killed in Census 2010 

I grew up in the Great Lakes region, and I can attest to the fact that the winter weather and lake-effect snow are ample grounds for emigration. The legend at Notre Dame was that Father Sorin and his companions camped out in Northern Indiana in the winter of 1842 with the understanding that they'd leave as soon as the weather improved. It never has, and so the University is still there.

For one reason or another, economic progress has not been kind to Midwestern cities this decade, even though most of the manufacturing jobs disappeared much earlier. Census 2010 numbers are correspondingly merciless.

This week’s results from Detroit illustrate in rather stark terms that the urban renewals being enjoyed in places like Washington, D.C. and New York are not being shared in other parts of the U.S. In Detroit's case, bad governance and economic decline have depopulated the city almost as badly as a devastating Hurricane depopulated New Orleans. Detroit has been hit hardest, but it is not the only Great Lakes city to lose population and representation in this year’s census. Chicago, whose pricey downtown glitters like gold after being improved with borrowed money, has also suffered a huge population loss that will no doubt cause Democrats much grief as they try to draw Illinois’ congressional map to their own advantage.

Milwaukee was mostly spared (little Duluth did well, adding all of 27 people). But Cleveland and Toledo did quite badly. Numbers for Buffalo have yet to come in, but early estimates suggest a substantial decline.

Some Great Lakes cities and how they did in Census 2010:


2000 population: 2,896,016
2010 population: 2,695,598
Change: = -6.9%


2000 population: 478,403
2010 population: 396,815
Change: -17.1%


2000 population: 951,270
2010 population: 713,777
Change: -25.0%


2000 population: 86,238
2010 population: 86,265
Change: +0.03%

Erie, Pa.

2000 population: 103,718
2010 population: 101,786
Change: -1.8%


2000 population: 313,619
2010 population: 287,208
Change: -8.4%


2000 population: 596,974
2010 population: 594,833
Change: -0.4%

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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