Population Shifting in the Midwest


My latest post is online at City Journal. I actually wrote it prior to the Indy op-ed I just put up, but for scheduling reasons they came out in the reverse order. This contains some of the background information against which that op-ed was written. It’s about the resorting of population that’s occurring within US states in the Midwest. Here’s an excerpt:

"America’s transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy resulted in a spatial shift in population, from rural to urban. As the economy continues to adapt from industrial to service- and knowledge-based sectors, we’re witnessing another population change—this time, in the country’s former industrial heartland. Residents of Rust Belt states are migrating to larger cities that have emerged as centers of success in the modern economy. But the Rust Belt’s urban resurgence disguises the reality that regional cities remain weak magnets for new residents on a national basis.

The Midwest and the northeastern Frost Belt are home to numerous stagnant and shrinking cities such as Flint, Michigan; Youngstown, Ohio; Rockford, Illinois; Muncie, Indiana; and Erie, Pennsylvania. But other cities within those states are booming. Metro hubs like Columbus, Kansas City, Des Moines, Grand Rapids, Madison, and Minneapolis-St. Paul are growing and thriving. These large cities are complemented by smaller success stories, including Iowa City; Lafayette, Indiana; and Traverse City, Michigan."

Click through to read the whole thing.

This piece originally appeared on Urbanophile.

Aaron M. Renn is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and an economic development columnist for Governing magazine. He focuses on ways to help America’s cities thrive in an ever more complex, competitive, globalized, and diverse twenty-first century. During Renn’s 15-year career in management and technology consulting, he was a partner at Accenture and held several technology strategy roles and directed multimillion-dollar global technology implementations. He has contributed to The Guardian, Forbes.com, and numerous other publications. Renn holds a B.S. from Indiana University, where he coauthored an early social-networking platform in 1991.

Photo: Construction in the Short North, Columbus, Ohio