U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-19-2011, 09:34 PM
 
11,172 posts, read 22,372,703 times
Reputation: 10924

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
Highly doubt it. Chicago (citywise) had taken a blow in the 30's and 40's before it reached the peak in 1950.

Detroit's Boom marched on through the depression up until the 50's.

I think Both cities would be around the 4M mark, but Chicago was already wobbling before the terrible 50's got there.

Same pattern happened with Philly and Cleveland. The brakes were applied long before 1950's.

Baltimore, Like Detroit, was not hit hard until the 50's
Chicago grew by 250,000 people in the 1930's and 1940's, and lost less than 2% of its population during the 1950's. Even the 1960's only saw a 5% decline in population.

Chicago's really bad spot was from around the late 1960's through the mid 1980's. The 1970's were the worst.

Since then its stabilized with pops hovering within a few % since the early 1990's.

I don't think Chicago would have grown by millions since it peaked in the 1950's when the city limits were completely built out. Yes they could have added density, but average household sizes in the USA have drifted downward since that period, and almost everywhere larger families tend to be in suburban areas as opposed to dense areas. Those suburban areas might be within central cities which are physically growing such as Houston or Phoenix, or in the suburbs in older built out pre-WWII areas.

I'd say if Chicago hadn't suffered in the 70's and early 80's, it probably could have held onto some west side and south side areas with many more people than are there today. It would probably have around 3.5 million.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-19-2011, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 28,167,283 times
Reputation: 7598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
Chicago grew by 250,000 people in the 1930's and 1940's, and lost 1.5% of its population during the 1950's. Even the 1960's only saw a 5% decline in population.

Chicago's really bad spot was from around the late 1960's through the mid 1980's. The 1970's were the worst.

Since then its stabilized with pops hovering within a few % since the early 1990's.

I don't think Chicago would have grown by millions since it peaked in the 1950's when the city limits were completely built out. Yes they could have added density, but average household sizes in the USA have drifted downward since that period, and almost everywhere larger families tend to be in suburban areas as opposed to dense areas. Those suburban areas might be within central cities which are physically growing such as Houston or Phoenix, or in the suburbs in older built out pre-WWII areas.

I'd say if Chicago hadn't suffered in the 70's and early 80's, it probably could have held onto some west side and south side areas with many more people than are there today. It would probably have around 3.5 million.
You do realize that Chicago had 3.6 Million people in 1950 do you??
so you are saying if Chicago didn't go through their rough times in the 70's and 80's they would have less people? something doesn't follow.

Also, you do realize that Chicago was gaining 500K a decade up until the 1920's when the slow down began? Yes they grew by 250K in the 30's and 40's but that was half what they were growing by in previous decades.

so like I said the brakes was applied to chicago's grow decades before 1950, it just took some time to come to a stop. so maintaining the 250K growth it had per decade before the 50's for the next 6 decades Chicago would be at where I said it would be 4M (3.6M plus 1.5M)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2011, 11:11 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,999 posts, read 102,581,357 times
Reputation: 33059
Pittsburgh's population in 1950:
676,806

If it had grown at the rate of the national average, it would now have a population of ~1.3 million. Instead it has about 300,000.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-20-2011, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Chicago
721 posts, read 1,573,029 times
Reputation: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
You do realize that Chicago had 3.6 Million people in 1950 do you??
so you are saying if Chicago didn't go through their rough times in the 70's and 80's they would have less people? something doesn't follow.

Also, you do realize that Chicago was gaining 500K a decade up until the 1920's when the slow down began? Yes they grew by 250K in the 30's and 40's but that was half what they were growing by in previous decades.

so like I said the brakes was applied to chicago's grow decades before 1950, it just took some time to come to a stop. so maintaining the 250K growth it had per decade before the 50's for the next 6 decades Chicago would be at where I said it would be 4M (3.6M plus 1.5M)

There are way to many variables in this thread to even begin to guesstimate what the population of any of these cities, let alone Chicago, would have been had they not experienced a decline. Had the city of Chicago not experienced a population decline, it's safe to say that a lot of suburbs wouldn't have taken off, leaving the city as a major employment center for the entire region. Therefore, more people would naturally live in the city than currently. Even though the population of Chicago slowed and then declined, the region grew tremendously throughout its entire existence. In 60 years, the region nearly doubled in size from 5.4 million to nearly 10 million.

A completely built on Chicago could easily support 5 million people...maybe even more. Although the city is dense, it's not uncomfortable, and could easily accomplish housing over 20,000 people per square mile. So while you may have your theory, you're really not looking at the city as a whole. You're just taking growth rates from a time period you deem acceptable and applying them to the past 5 or so decades.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-20-2011, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 28,167,283 times
Reputation: 7598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dncr View Post
There are way to many variables in this thread to even begin to guesstimate what the population of any of these cities, let alone Chicago, would have been had they not experienced a decline. Had the city of Chicago not experienced a population decline, it's safe to say that a lot of suburbs wouldn't have taken off, leaving the city as a major employment center for the entire region. Therefore, more people would naturally live in the city than currently. Even though the population of Chicago slowed and then declined, the region grew tremendously throughout its entire existence. In 60 years, the region nearly doubled in size from 5.4 million to nearly 10 million.

A completely built on Chicago could easily support 5 million people...maybe even more. Although the city is dense, it's not uncomfortable, and could easily accomplish housing over 20,000 people per square mile. So while you may have your theory, you're really not looking at the city as a whole. You're just taking growth rates from a time period you deem acceptable and applying them to the past 5 or so decades.
I think you are confusing me with someone else. I am not the one with the theory that Chicago cannot support 5M people.

All I did was point out that the growth rate in the 50's for Chicago if maintained would result in a city of 4M. Which was what the question asked.

If The Question asked what the population would be if Chicago maintained the rate it did at the turn of the last century then I would have gone higher.

I am not the one who mentioned density or accommodating such and such, you are confusing me with someone else.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-20-2011, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,633 posts, read 27,056,837 times
Reputation: 9577
I don't know if Detroit would be equal to Chicago if they these cities kept increasing. Chicago has always had a much larger and diverse economy than Detroit and they also were more progressive as far as mass transit to help this city to keep growing. I believe the Detroit slow down was inevitable since they had one dominant industry. Could be wrong though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-20-2011, 02:04 PM
 
11,172 posts, read 22,372,703 times
Reputation: 10924
Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
You do realize that Chicago had 3.6 Million people in 1950 do you??
so you are saying if Chicago didn't go through their rough times in the 70's and 80's they would have less people? something doesn't follow.

Also, you do realize that Chicago was gaining 500K a decade up until the 1920's when the slow down began? Yes they grew by 250K in the 30's and 40's but that was half what they were growing by in previous decades.

so like I said the brakes was applied to chicago's grow decades before 1950, it just took some time to come to a stop. so maintaining the 250K growth it had per decade before the 50's for the next 6 decades Chicago would be at where I said it would be 4M (3.6M plus 1.5M)
Yes, I understand all that. I think one thing people keep leaving out is how large a city is in land area, and how vacant land area influenced the growth rates.

To say Chicago and Detroit would each have 4 million means that Detroit would have to be almost twice as dense as Chicago, and even more dense than NYC is at its peak population. Chicago has almost twice the land area of Detroit.

Chicago grew by 500,000 a year as new areas of the city were initially developed, but then the city was completely built out around the 1940's. Then things slowed because obviously the largest driver of a city's growth is having land to build. You can certainly grow via density like NYC and San Fran are - but those cities have each only added on less than 10% growth since they became built out decades ago. Imagine if Houston was penned in today and you couldn't built any new houses on vacant land. You could do infill projects and rehab/tear down/rebuild areas - but you're probably not going to see the hundreds of thousands of people moving in as you did when you could go throw 50,000 houses up on fresh land and fill them with 130,000 new people all at once in many areas within the city limits.

Housing sizes have also generally decreased since the 1950's, and in Chicago the buildings have been gutted and replaced with generally larger floorplans and fewer units in many buildings. The north side is also full of tens of thousands of units housing singles or people in apartments. Those areas had housed a lot of families with multiple children. It goes along the same lines that population growth or slight shrinkage doesn't mean a place is going downhill or unhealthy. There are a lot of demographic reasons why a certain number of people might be living in a certain area. Would anyone say Manhattan is much worse off today because it's hundreds of thousands of people below its peak? Or Paris which has shrunk by a lot over the years? It's all about usage and demographics. I mean of course Chicago currently could house a lot more people in totally underutilized areas. But changing that and seeing what would have happened in 1950 if the economy hadn't tanked are two different things.

Chicago very well would have grown if it hadn't declined in certain neighborhoods - but I can't see dumping hundreds of thousands of people onto the city decade after decade when the development of fresh land ended in the 1940's or early 1950's. It's hard for a city to double in population after it's already been "filled up" (citing the Detroit example of 4 million). You have to do a lot of tearing down and rebuilding. If places aren't abandoned and run down in the first place, it makes it even harder for gentrification to happen since you'd be ripping down perfectly decent buildings. You'd have to have a LOT of demand for an area to see that happen.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-20-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 28,167,283 times
Reputation: 7598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
Yes, I understand all that. I think one thing people keep leaving out is how large a city is in land area, and how vacant land area influenced the growth rates.

To say Chicago and Detroit would each have 4 million means that Detroit would have to be almost twice as dense as Chicago, and even more dense than NYC is at its peak population. Chicago has almost twice the land area of Detroit.

Chicago grew by 500,000 a year, but then the city was completely built out around the 1940's. Then growth stopped because obviously the largest drivere of a city's growth is having land to grow. You can certainly grow via density like NYC and San Fran are - but those cities have each only added on less than 10% growth since they became built out decades ago. Imagine if Houston was penned in today and you couldn't built any new houses on vacant land. You could do infill projects and rehab/tear down/rebuild areas - but you're probably not going to see the hundreds of thousands of people moving in as you did when you could go throw 50,000 houses up on fresh land and fill them with 130,000 new people.

Housing sizes have also generally decreased since the 1950's, and in Chicago the buildings have been gutted and replaced with generally larger floorplans and fewer units in many buildings. The north side is also full of tens of thousands of units housing singles or people in apartments. Those areas had housed a lot of families with multiple children. It goes along the same lines that population growth or slight shrinkage doesn't mean a place is going downhill or unhealthy. There are a lot of demographic reasons why a certain number of people might be living in a certain area. Would anyone say Manhattan is much worse off today because it's hundreds of thousands of people below its peak?

Chicago very well would have grown if it hadn't declined in certain neighborhoods - but I can't see dumping hundreds of thousands of people onto the city decade after decade when the development of fresh land ended in the 1940's or early 1950's. It's hard for a city to double in population after it's already been "filled up". You have to do a lot of tearing down and rebuilding. If places aren't abandoned and run down in the first place, it makes it even harder for gentrification to happen since you'd be ripping down perfectly decent buildings. You'd have to have a LOT of demand for an area to see that happen.
why on earth are all of you doing the coulda woulda shoulda?
The OP didn't ask for all these variables. just what the City pop would be if they continued the same pace instead of the negative growth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
What would the population of cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, or Baltimore for example be today if their city population kept on increasing in the 1950's instead of decreasing? Also how different would the 2010 census look today if that had happened.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-20-2011, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 28,167,283 times
Reputation: 7598
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
how different would the 2010 census look today if that had happened.
I don't think Anyone answered this part so let me take a crack at it

1. NY 10.5M instead of 8.4M
2. Chicago 4M instead of 2.8M and 2nd place instead of 3rd
3. Detroit 4M instead of 900k and 3rd place instead of 11th
4. LA 3.8M numbers stay the same, rank dropped from 2 to 4.
5. Houston 2.9M if the 50's growth was maintained through the 80's. Drop from 4 to 5
6. Philly 2.7M same spot, higher numbers.
7. DC 1.9M instead of 600K 7th instead of 27th
8. Phoenix 1.8M drop from 5 to 7
9. San Diego 1.5M drop from 8 to 9
10. San Antonio 1.4M drop from 7 to 10.

Dallas and San Jose would not have made it to the top 10


Cincinnati, Boston, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, St Louis, Cleveland and Baltimore would not have made it to the top 10 either, but they would be high up there.

Looks like an even mix of frost belt and sunbelt cities. The North would still be king though with the top 3 cities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-20-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: South St Louis
3,794 posts, read 3,454,772 times
Reputation: 1957
St. Louis is an "independent city" and absolutely cannot annex land, so the only way it can gain population is by increasing density. The city reached a population peak in 1950 at about 850,000 people. That was a density of about 14,000 per sq mi, which is pretty close to the maximum density for a Midwestern city. So, if St. Louis didn't decline in population, it probably would have capped at maybe 900,000. That's still a heck of a lot of people in just 61 square miles (maybe not to New Yorkers, but to the rest of America!)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top