Photo: dougtone via flickr
What makes a city depressing?Based on a new Gallup poll, the key factor is a secular decline in jobs. The most depressing cities are former industrial centres in upstate New York and the Rust Belt.
We identified five cities that ranked in the bottom 10 for “satisfaction with community” and “optimism about the future.”
Satisfied residents: 76.5%
Optimistic residents: 42.4%
Although Buffalo held up well during the recession, the upstate city has been losing jobs and income in the past year. Gross metropolitan production is down 2.6% from peak.
For a longer picture, note the 48% decline in manufacturing jobs from 1980 to 2005.
Satisfied residents: 76.3%
Optimistic residents: 38.9%
One of many devastated Rust Belt cities, Youngstown suffered a 11.6% drop in employment from peak, yielding a 10.4% unemployment rate. From 1980 to 2005, this city has lost 54% of manufacturing jobs.
Personal income is more than $8,000 below average.
Satisfied residents: 77.3%
Optimistic residents: 37.7%
Auto-capital Flint has been forced to tear town thousands of abandoned homes to reduce crime and city services, as has nearby Detroit. The home of GM had already lost 67% of manufacturing jobs between 1980 and 2005.
Unemployment is an alarming 12.5%, while yearly personal income is around $11,000 below average.
Satisfied residents: 75.9%
Optimistic residents: 35.2%
Another Rust Belt city, Toledo employment is down 12.4% from peak. Home prices are down 23% from peak. Meanwhile, obesity is 3.6% above average.
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