America's 10 Fastest Dying Towns

Here’s a bleak list from Forbes — America’s 10 Fastest-Dying Towns. Many of the towns have something in common — manufacturing jobs moving overseas or to cheaper, more rural, areas.

Forbes’ 10 Fastest-Dying Towns

1. Bensenville, Ill. — “Chicago’s inner suburbs were a major post-World War II growth center. Manufacturing and warehousing provided jobs for newly minted suburbanites. Today those jobs are leaving the inner suburbs, heading overseas or to new exurban or rural spots that can offer less congestion, cheaper land and cheaper housing.”

2. Candler-McAfee, Ga. — “…out-of-towners and corporations have avoided Candler-McAfee, and as a result the city has fallen into poverty at an alarming rate.”

3. Kokomo, Ind. — “The best way to understand Kokomo’s decline is to look at Chrysler. The auto company is the city’s key employer, and as it has fallen, so have Kokomo’s fortunes.”

4. Asheboro, N.C. — “The city, built on manufacturing and heavy industry for everything from batteries to tires, has yet to find a new niche.”

5. Austintown, Ohio — “It’s a major problem for small towns when their economy is tied to a larger city in decline. Such is the case for Austintown, a western suburb of collapsing Youngstown.”

6. Spanish Lake, Mo. — “To the north of St. Louis, Spanish Lake has been unable to attract highly skilled, high-salaried jobs.”

7. Hamtramck, Mich. — “Hamtramck has a dizzying unemployment rate of 36.1%, one of the highest in the country.”

8. Grandview, Mo. — “With few buyers, and no one moving in, home prices have dropped to $78,000 at the median level, off from $122,000 in 2003.”

9. Burton, Mich. — “Poverty rates have doubled in the last seven years, surging from 8.6% in 2000 to 15.4% in 2007.”

10. Middletown, Ohio — “With only 12.2% of residents possessing bachelor’s degrees or better, the city isn’t a prime candidate to attract highly skilled jobs that have lifted some other post-industrial cities.”

See the full slideshow at Forbes.

10 Fastest-Dying Towns [Forbes]
(Photo: The Joy Of The Mundane )