by Jordan Zirm
What do the city of Cleveland and Rick Moranis have in common? They both, at one point in time, have shrunk. Moranis did it in the straight-to-DVD "Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves," the sequel to "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." (We could have gone with the George Costanza shrinkage joke here, but Moranis was clearly a better choice.)
Cleveland is doing it right now and doing it quicker than anyone else. Go us!
According to this AP article, the Census Bureau is reporting that Cleveland shrunk by a full percentage point in 2009, losing 2,658 residents, the most of any city in the United States. And we can't even scream out "At least we're not Detroit!" this time, as the city came in second behind us, followed by Flint, MI. (although that stat is skewed — Michael Moore makes up 100 people, and he wasn't around Flint much in 2009).
"Many baby boomers and young adults are still in a holding pattern," said Mark Mather, associate vice president at the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau. "They are staying close to big cities where most jobs are located, waiting for the economy and housing market to bounce back before they make their next move."
The numbers reflect an overall trend in which jobs have become a predominant factor in U.S. migration as the government winds down its high-stakes 2010 census count. Growth in once-torrid regions in the South and West such as Arizona, Nevada and Florida is slowing due to the housing crunch, while many big cities are gaining as they hold onto more residents.
Texas cities, such as Frisco and Lewisville, led the nation in growth in 2009 because of a "stronger labor market and immigrant growth."
Republicans declined comment. Alexandria and Arlington, VA came in as the fifith and seventh-fastest growing cities in the United States respectively.
Don't get too depressed Clevelanders. Who else can say they have something in common with the great Moranis? — Jordan Zirm