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The demographic burden of population loss in US cities, 2000–2010

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rachel FranklinORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Although the effects of urban shrinkage on quality of life and the built environment have received a great deal of attention, the characteristics of those experiencing these impacts have been much less studied. This is ironic, as urban shrinkage or depopulation is by nature a demographic phenomenon: city sizes evolve precisely because people move in and out, are born, and die. Moreover, the demographic processes that contribute to shrinking cities—out-migration and death—are selective and so they also govern who remains behind in cities as they shrink. It is this latter group that is the focus of this research. The analysis contributes to the literature on shrinking cities through its novel consideration of community-level exposure to depopulation. In particular, it investigates who is impacted by loss; the extent to which population loss is experienced disproportionately across urban space and demographic subgroups; and whether decline occurring at multiple spatial scales magnifies exposure for some groups more than others. Findings show that, at both city and census tract levels, demographic characteristics of growth and loss areas are different and, at all levels, some groups are more likely than others to be living in a loss-impacted area.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Franklin RS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Geographical Systems

Year: 2019

Volume: 23

Pages: 209-230

Online publication date: 06/07/2019

Acceptance date: 14/06/2019

Date deposited: 08/07/2019

ISSN (print): 1435-5930

ISSN (electronic): 1435-5949

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg


DOI: 10.1007/s10109-019-00303-4


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