States with Struggling Cities:
Click on a map to see a larger version with older industrial cities marked.
(Six partner states shaded dark orange)
How do we determine what cities are struggling?
As of 2006 when the report was published, researchers at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program have identified cities that scored in the lowest third on both economic and residential well-being indices, of which there are 65 out of 302 cities studied. All cities studied met at least one of the following criteria in 1990 or 2000: had at least 50,000 people and were the largest city in a metropolitan area, were at least 50% of the population of the largest city in a metropolitan area, or had a population of at least 150,000 regardless.
Cities were rated on the following economic indicators: Change in employment, change in annual payroll, and change in establishments.
Cities were rated on the following residential well-being indicators: Median household income, unemployment rate, poverty rate, labor force participation rate, and per capita income.
What are America’s Older Industrial Cities?
The 65 lowest performing cities had one thing in common– they are struggling to transition from manufacturing-based economies that predominated the workforce until the 1970s to more knowledge-based and competitive industries.
These are the older industrial cities ordered by population:
Pine Bluff, AR
Rocky Mount, NC
Port Arthur, TX
Terre Haute, IN
Santa Maria, CA
Fall River, MA
New Bedford, MA
|100,000 to 249,000:
|250,000 – 499,000:
St. Louis, MO
Long Beach, CA
New Orleans, LA
Visit the appropriate state page at right to learn more about these places and their progress on the path towards revitalization.