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    Two Visions of America by Don Jans

    This Is The Fastest Shrinking Place In California

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    The U.S. population grew by just 0.35% between July 2019 and July 2020, the smallest annual growth rate in well over a century. Driven in part by restrictions on immigration and a declining birth rate, stagnant population growth may have profound and far reaching consequences — including reduced economic growth, stagnanting home values, and fewer workers to support an aging population.

    This trend is by no means unique to last year. Over the past decade, cities and towns across the country have reported rapid population decline.

    The unincorporated community of Willowbrook has the fastest shrinking population in California, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Currently home to an estimated 22,810 people, Willowbrook’s population declined by 35.1% from 2010 to 2019. Meanwhile, California’s population expanded by 7.2% over the same period.

    While declining immigration and falling birth rates largely explain the national slowdown in population growth, at the local level, these factors are compounded by residents moving out. An estimated 40 million Americans move each year, and one of the most common reasons is for improved economic opportunity.

    Outbound migration from Willowbrook may be due in part to relatively limited job opportunities. The area’s average unemployment rate stands at 10.8%,above the statewide average of 6.1%.

    All data in this story are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. All cities, towns, villages, boroughs, and census designated places with populations of at least 1,000 and where the margin of error for the population was less than 10% were considered. This is the fastest shrinking place in every state.

    Place Pop. change, 2010 to 2019 State pop. change, 2010 to 2019 Total population, 2010 Total population, 2019
    Alabama: Forestdale -17.5% +3.5% 10,811 8,924
    Alaska: Big Lake -17.6% +6.6% 3,250 2,678
    Arizona: San Carlos -19.4% +12.9% 5,523 4,451
    Arkansas: Brinkley -17.5% +4.4% 3,324 2,742
    California: Willowbrook -35.1% +7.2% 35,174 22,811
    Colorado: Lincoln Park -21.9% +14.8% 4,204 3,283
    Connecticut: Putnam -11.9% +0.8% 7,505 6,615
    Delaware: Glasgow -8.2% +8.6% 15,648 14,359
    Florida: Siesta Key -15.2% +12.9% 6,573 5,573
    Georgia: Druid Hills -42.7% +9.9% 14,603 8,365
    Hawaii: Waimanalo Beach -11.9% +6.6% 4,629 4,076
    Idaho: Mountain Home AFB -16.7% +12.5% 3,613 3,009
    Illinois: Cairo -28.5% +0.2% 2,963 2,120
    Indiana: Dunkirk -17.0% +3.9% 2,437 2,022
    Iowa: Sac City -12.8% +4.1% 2,294 2,001
    Kansas: Oswego -21.4% +3.6% 2,133 1,676
    Kentucky: Fort Knox -27.1% +3.8% 11,933 8,695
    Louisiana: Norco -15.6% +5.3% 3,375 2,850
    Maine: Winslow -37.0% +0.6% 7,823 4,928
    Maryland: Sykesville -11.6% +5.7% 4,454 3,939
    Massachusetts: Oxford -12.2% +5.8% 6,373 5,595
    Michigan: Beecher -23.7% +0.1% 11,842 9,041
    Minnesota: Appleton -35.2% +6.1% 2,178 1,412
    Mississippi: Winona -17.2% +1.4% 5,105 4,227
    Missouri: Spanish Lake -19.8% +3.1% 21,803 17,485
    Montana: Malmstrom AFB -13.3% +7.9% 4,820 4,179
    Nebraska: Franklin -13.5% +6.4% 1,192 1,031
    Nevada: Hawthorne -26.2% +12.9% 3,640 2,686
    New Hampshire: Derry -4.7% +2.6% 22,884 21,817
    New Jersey: Avalon -26.5% +1.8% 1,914 1,406
    New Mexico: Zuni Pueblo -26.5% +3.9% 9,527 7,001
    New York: South Nyack -39.0% +1.8% 5,548 3,387
    North Carolina: James City -14.1% +10.7% 6,236 5,354
    North Dakota: Bottineau -14.4% +14.7% 2,445 2,094
    Ohio: Wheelersburg -14.3% +1.2% 7,099 6,082
    Oklahoma: Watonga -43.9% +7.0% 5,139 2,881
    Oregon: Roseburg North -26.9% +9.8% 6,919 5,059
    Pennsylvania: Bellwood -21.0% +1.4% 2,047 1,618
    Rhode Island: Warwick -3.2% +0.1% 83,676 80,993
    South Carolina: Allendale -17.0% +11.3% 3,626 3,009
    South Dakota: Fort Thompson -13.5% +8.9% 1,428 1,235
    Tennessee: Belle Meade -21.1% +7.6% 2,891 2,280
    Texas: San Elizario -36.1% +16.2% 14,277 9,126
    Utah: Price -2.5% +16.5% 8,473 8,265
    Vermont: St. Johnsbury -12.7% +0.0% 6,722 5,865
    Virginia: Mason Neck -11.5% +7.8% 2,245 1,986
    Washington: Fairchild AFB -19.8% +12.8% 4,159 3,336
    West Virginia: Nitro -15.3% -1.3% 7,083 5,997
    Wisconsin: Nashotah -21.5% +2.7% 1,553 1,219
    Wyoming: Warren AFB -15.0% +6.5% 2,888 2,456

    Source: 

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