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Rust Belt Cities Lose Most in Population, Census Report Finds

Manufacturing areas and Rust Belt cities had the highest population losses according to Census estimates for the 2009 highlight report. Cleveland lost the most residents, with 2,658 or nearly 1 percent leaving the city. Detroit lost 1.713 residents, and Flint, Michigan lost 1,382. Baltimore; Buffalo, New York; Pittsburgh; Cape Coral and St. Petersburg, Florida all lost significant population numbers. The Florida losses are attributed to retired people opting not to relocate.

Jobs are a top reason for relocation in the United States. Big cities are retaining more residents, while former high-growth areas such as the South, West, and Florida are slowing. Growth in Phoenix; Atlanta; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Las Vegas; and Jacksonville, Florida dropped by as much as 2.4 percent since 2006, largely due to high foreclosure levels.

Four of the 10 fastest-growing cities last year were in Texas. Frisco, McKinney, Round Rock, and Lewisville saw population gains of between 3.3 percent and 6.2 percent. Frisco, outside Dallas, gained 6.2 percent in its population.

New Orleans was the fourth fastest-growing city last year. It gained 5.4 percent in its population from the previous year. But its figure of 354,850 residents was significantly below the 485,000 people it counted in 2000 before Hurricane Katrina.

New York is the most populous city with 8.4 million residents, followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and San Antonio.

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