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U.S. Cities That Have Lost 20% of its Population

Name the major U.S. cities that have lost at least a fifth of their total peaked population.
Every city had peaked from 1930 to 1970
The city must have had over 60,000 people at its peak
Quiz by UG332
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Last updated: September 8, 2022
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First submittedSeptember 1, 2022
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Average score43.6%
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Percentage
State
City
Peak Population
2020 Population
Total Lost
77.58%
IL
East St. Louis
82,366
18,469
-63,897
71.21%
PA
Johnstown
67,327
19,381
-47,946
65.45%
MI
Detroit
1,849,568
639,111
-1,210,457
64.80%
MO
St. Louis
856,796
301,578
-555,218
64.67%
OH
Youngstown
170,002
60,068
-109,934
61.25%
IN
Gary
178,320
69,093
-109,227
59.27%
OH
Cleveland
914,808
372,624
-542,184
55.24%
PA
Pittsburgh
676,806
302,971
-373,835
55.02%
MI
Saginaw
98,265
44,202
-54,063
52.47%
NY
Niagara Falls
102,394
48,671
-53,723
52.02%
NY
Buffalo
580,132
278,349
-301,783
50.63%
PA
Chester
66,039
32,605
-33,434
48.83%
PA
Wilkes-Barre
86,626
44,328
-42,298
47.99%
MI
Flint
196,940
102,434
-94,506
47.53%
OH
Dayton
262,332
137,644
-124,688
46.78%
PA
Scranton
143,433
76,328
-67,105
46.42%
PA
Altoona
82,054
43,963
-38,091
44.05%
PA
Harrisburg
89,544
50,099
-39,445
42.36%
NJ
Camden
124,555
71,791
-52,764
41.11%
AL
Birmingham
340,887
200,733
-140,154
40.54%
NY
Binghamton
80,674
47,969
-32,705
39.38%
OH
Canton
116,912
70,872
-46,040
38.81%
LA
New Orleans
627,525
383,997
-243,528
38.63%
OH
Cincinnati
503,998
309,317
-194,681
38.33%
MD
Baltimore
949,708
585,708
-364,000
38.26%
OH
Warren
63,494
39,201
-24,293
37.23%
KY
Covington
65,252
40,961
-24,291
36.44%
NY
Rochester
332,488
211,328
-121,160
35.83%
NY
Utica
101,740
65,283
-36,457
34.40%
OH
Akron
290,351
190,469
-99,882
33.08%
NY
Troy
76,813
51,401
-25,412
32.62%
NY
Syracuse
220,583
148,620
-71,963
31.76%
CT
Hartford
177,397
121,054
-56,343
31.50%
PA
Erie
138,440
94,831
-43,609
30.28%
IN
Hammond
111,698
77,879
-33,819
29.93%
NY
Schenectady
95,692
67,047
-28,645
29.57%
NJ
Newark
442,337
311,549
-130,788
29.43%
OH
Toledo
383,818
270,871
-112,947
29.36%
MO
St. Joseph
102,979
72,743
-30,236
29.09%
OH
Springfield
82,723
58,662
-24,061
29.01%
NJ
Trenton
128,009
90,871
-37,138
27.75%
OH
Lakewood
70,509
50,942
-19,567
26.50%
NY
Albany
134,995
99,224
-35,771
25.07%
MI
Pontiac
82,223
61,606
-20,617
25.04%
IL
Decatur
94,081
70,522
-23,559
24.68%
RI
Providence
253,504
190,934
-62,570
24.25%
MS
Jackson
202,895
153,701
-49,194
24.15%
IL
Chicago
3,620,962
2,746,388
-874,574
22.71%
VA
Norfolk
307,951
238,005
-69,946
22.60%
IN
Anderson
70,787
54,788
-15,999
22.58%
PA
Philadelphia
2,071,605
1,603,797
-467,808
22.14%
WI
Milwaukee
741,324
577,222
-164,102
22.00%
MA
Somerville
103,908
81,045
-22,863
21.98%
MA
Fall River
120,485
94,000
-26,485
21.89%
IN
South Bend
132,445
103,453
-28,992
+5
Level 67
Sep 8, 2022
One of these alone (to my knowledge) is distinctly unlike the others:

Somerville, MA lost population not because of urban decay, crime, mismanagement or race riots, but because living standards improved and tenements were refurbished as higher quality housing for fewer people. Manhattan in New York also has many fewer inhabitants than at its peak, because the tenements became normal apartments.

+1
Level 67
Sep 8, 2022
Very interesting!
+3
Level 84
Sep 8, 2022
Almost all rust belt towns. My dad grew up in #5 (and in nearby Boardman). His father was a steel worker.
+1
Level 61
Sep 8, 2022
white flight
+2
Level 27
Sep 8, 2022
Go live in East St. Louis then...
+2
Level 27
Sep 8, 2022
Grew up in Lakewood, OH. What was 90,000 back around 2008 (and even less in the 90s) is now 350,000+ (which isn't worth it). Taxes are also high (relative to Cleveland) and many of the houses are very close together. Families also didn't tend to stick around very long in neighborhoods. It seemed like it was a transient city and a temporary place for families to live before going somewhere better. Also, many of the houses where/are rentals, which furthermore drives the point of it being temporary.
+1
Level 50
Dec 19, 2022
Surprised Parma, OH didn't make the list!