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Old 03-06-2018, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,749 posts, read 1,543,096 times
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I read this article in Forbes recently, regarding the population/economy contrast of the Rust Belt and the Sun Belt:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/petesau...lemma-for-now/

From the outset it discusses how for as long as we remember, we equate population growth to economic growth, but growing evidence tends to indicate that population growth is a lagging factor to economic growth. It then contrasts some select "Rust Belt Cities" (Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh) with some select high-population growth "Sun Belt Cities" (Houston, Phoenix, Orlando). (Please note that when I say "city" I mean "city+metro"). The Rust Belt cities are showing high GDP growth, Detroit ranked 8th in the nation in per-capita GDP growth (+13.9%), while Orlando ranked 45th (-1.0%). Yet we see significant population growth in the Sun Belt cities (+13.3%) while population in the Rust Belt cities is stagnant (+0.1).

Drilling down a bit deeper, in another related report (link on article) about population trends, we saw that the Rust Belt cities are very unbalanced in the demographics which they are attracting/losing. From the article:

"Metro area population growth in Chicago and Detroit has flatlined largely because they're losing out on people in two critical age cohorts -- the 40-49 age cohort and the 10-19 age cohort. The two are connected; households headed by people in the first cohort often have children in the second cohort. Slight-to-moderate population loss among the 40-49 age cohort in Chicago (-1.5%) and in Detroit (-6.9%) led to significant population loss among the 10-19 age cohort (-11.3% in Chicago, -11.8% in Detroit). Metro Chicago is making moderate gains among 30-39 year-olds (+4.5%), and Metro Detroit is making significant gains among 20-29 year-olds (+9.2%), but neither has been able to counter the losses among the older and younger cohorts on either side."

This is supported by the United Van Lanes study about population trends. In this we see Michigan as a destination for the 35-44 group, but a modest loser of the 45-54 group. (Under 35 is a modest increase). Illinois is the highest-outbound state in the country, but shows inbound moves of the <35 and 35-44 groups. You can contrast this with Florida and Arizona which are both high-outbound states for the 35-44 group.

So where does this leave us?

You've got stagnant economies in Sun Belt cities (with some major exceptions like Austin, Atlanta, Nashville which have strong economies...) that people are moving to in large numbers. On the flip side, you have mature cities in the Rust Belt that declined, but are now seeing an economic renaissance. Cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh have more jobs than they can fill, and the people taking them are primarily early to early/mid career.

Are we in for a significant demographic shift over the next decade or two?

From my perspective as a 30-something transplant to Detroit, this reflects my observations. The economy here is great, but the population is observably still stagnant, and there is limited new construction while we instead see rehabs of older unused areas. Will this GDP growth be sustainable going forward? Will this also be reflected in other High-GDP Growth/Low Population Growth areas like Boston and Philly? Will it ever have the effect of attracting population? On the other side of things, many of these peaking metros may be in for a serious crash - similar to what the Rust Belt saw in the 1980s-2000s. Places like Jacksonville and Las Vegas are growing based largely on their desirable weather, and disproportionately attracting older people who need services, but don't contribute to the economy in the same manner someone in their 30s or 40s would. Demographic shifts require a lot of time to occur, but once they start the momentum is hard to stop. I don't believe the momentum of the shift away from the North has yet stopped, but are we seeing the rumblings of a large-scale demographic shift?
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:58 PM
 
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^ certainly touched on that in Chicago. From 2000 to 2010 the population in the city declined by 200,000. Of that total a whopping 115,000 of them were one specific demographic, black people under the age of 19. It's losing all its children.

That would explain how the metro has gained over 300,000 jobs since 2010 but the population is still flat. The people leaving are mostly all children and then some older people. Those filling them in are mostly in their 20's and 30's. Overall the population stays flat - but the number of jobs keeps increasing and being filled.

It's interesting to look at the demographics. The jobs coming and going are also flip flopping. A large number of the new jobs are high income white collar jobs to the city (downtown alone has gained over all of all new jobs to the metro area, almost all quite high paying). That said there are large portions of the west and south sides where people can't find jobs because of educational restraints and other socioeconomic and demographic situations.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
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Thanks for the input Chicago60614! I'm happy to hear that about Chicago. It's interesting, in Detroit we hear all about the "New" Detroit and its economic rebirth, but not much about Chicago. Really nothing at all, outside of the national media which still unfairly paints Chicago as dangerous and scary or whatever. I imagine that in Chicago what you see is similar to what we see in Detroit with lots of generally positive news, but once you get outside of either city you only hear the bad, because the media cycle hasn't really caught up with the demographic shift, and it probably won't for a number of years.

You'd think the GDP per-capita growth in the cities (and their peers like Cleveland/Pittsburgh) would be a pretty clear sign, but it isn't as easy to see. Population growth is the easy one that makes sense to us, and with these regions being stagnant in population it's tough to report either city as being in a good place going forward.

I am curious if you think Chicago's debt will play a role in suppressing the city's future. Detroit's debt was really holding the city back for two decades, but they were able to discharge much of that in 2013. There are still some concerns with bonds coming due in 2024, but the city has made some significant payments toward that already to decrease the bond liability when they have to start paying on them. Will Chicago ever face a bankruptcy, or is the city itself still in good enough shape that it'll be able to set things straight on its own given the economic improvement and what will likely result in population growth 5-10 or so years from now?
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
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Most of the major Sunbelt economies are doing quite well. Dallas and Austin are going gangbusters. Nashville, Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh, and San Antonio are doing quite well too. Houston had a rough couple of years but now the economy here is doing quite well too. The only cities in the Sunbelt that dont have wonderful economies are Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Orlando.
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:20 AM
 
982 posts, read 493,039 times
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Good old Buffalo and Rochester can't catch a break. I wonder how Albany is doing.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:03 AM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,994 posts, read 17,126,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJones17 View Post
Good old Buffalo and Rochester can't catch a break. I wonder how Albany is doing.
Albany is probably in New York City's orbit by now.

Part of the problem for Buffalo and Rochester is that they're just kind of up there, off the beaten path. They're closer to Toronto than any other major American city.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,749 posts, read 1,543,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboys fan in Houston View Post
Most of the major Sunbelt economies are doing quite well. Dallas and Austin are going gangbusters. Nashville, Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh, and San Antonio are doing quite well too. Houston had a rough couple of years but now the economy here is doing quite well too. The only cities in the Sunbelt that dont have wonderful economies are Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Orlando.
...Miami, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Tampa, New Orleans, and San Diego (if you count that - I tend to consider SD more West Coast). There are still some thriving Sun Belt economies, absolutely, but 10 years ago most of those were thriving as well while the Rust Belt was bad across the board. Today things have shifted to more of a half/half situation for both regions.

Edit: Okay, not "10 years ago" because very few places were thriving in 2008, ... let's say 12 years ago

Last edited by Geo-Aggie; 03-07-2018 at 11:20 AM.. Reason: See above
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:27 AM
 
52,657 posts, read 75,502,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craziaskowboi View Post
Albany is probably in New York City's orbit by now.

Part of the problem for Buffalo and Rochester is that they're just kind of up there, off the beaten path. They're closer to Toronto than any other major American city.
Albany is just doesn’t fit the population criteria for the article.

Besides Buffalo and Rochester(is mentioned in the Tech talent article though), there are some surprises in the low/low category like the Twin Cities metro, Richmond and Indianapolis.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 03-07-2018 at 11:46 AM..
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:04 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,543 posts, read 17,893,206 times
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There's a flaw in that analysis. Per capita GDP growth isn't created by the 10-19 year old cohort. The abundance of them in fast growing sunbelt metros opposed to the lacking of them in the rustbelt affects that metric.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 20,292,759 times
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This may just be a theory, but here goes.

With the exception of Chicago, the Rustbelt has a huge lack of Hispanic residents. The Sunbelt has an overabundance of Hispanic residents. Hispanic residents have a much higher birth rate than Caucasians which make up the bulk of the Rustbelt.

Then you have to think of international growth. Outside of Chicago and the Arabs and a sprinkling of Mexicans to Detroit, the Rustbelt gets very, very few international immigrants. Where as the Sunbelt contains immigration magnets like Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami.

Could that be part of the explanation of the population growth?
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