by Rachel Franklin

Abstract:

Urban shrinkage, or population loss, has to date received little attention from regional scientists or spatial demographers in spite of the fact that the phenomenon is incontrovertibly regional, spatial, and demographic. This paper introduces the concept of community-level exposure to population decline and investigates 1) who is impacted by this loss, 2) the extent to which population loss is experienced disproportionately across urban space and demographic subgroups, and 3) whether decline occurring at multiple spatial scales magnifies exposure for some groups more than others. The study period is 2000–2010 and the unit of analysis is U.S. cities (population 100,000 or greater in 2010), their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas, and their constituent census tracts. The demographic characteristics employed are age, race/ethnicity, and poverty for census tracts, central cities, and metropolitan areas. Neighborhood change and the characteristics of those experiencing that change are evaluated within the context of the city as a whole, as well as the larger metropolitan area.