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Youngstown makes list of decaying cities

Published: Tue, August 5, 2008 @ 11:16 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — The city is among the top 10 fastest-dying cities in the U.S., according to a Forbes article published on the magazine’s Web site today.

The article did not rank the cities in any particular order but did reference information collected by the U.S. Census Bureau for each city, including migration since 2000, total population change, unemployment rate for June 2008 and annualized gross domestic product growth.

Forbes’ list of dying cities does not hold much meaning for Mayor Jay Williams, though.

“One list from someone who has not been to Youngstown and seen what is going on doesn’t have much credibility with me,” Williams said. “You can take data and have the data say anything you want.”

For the complete story, see Wednesday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com.


1debraweaver(30 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

Baloney! I agree with Mayor Williams. All Forbes does is tell us what we already know; Youngstown is a shrinking city. Shrinking is not the same thing as dying, and I would challenge Forbes to visit Youngstown and do a story on that.

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2tylersclark(182 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

This is a misleading headline and should be corrected. Forbes's data is for the "Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Penn., metropolitan statistical area." Not that it's any rosier an advertisement for the region, but let's at least talk facts.

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3NoBS(2814 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

Grump, you're exactly right - that's the very thing I was thinking when I read that story. Jay's delusional.

All you other people who think Youngstown is doing OK, just shrinking a bit, you need to take yourself out of the area for a while, and look around. Especially, check out how people treat other people, in all situations. This valley has been so messed up for so long that you who've never been out of the area don't even remember what prosperity looks like.

Broaden your horizons, people! This valley is still famous for its corruption and its refusal to change the way things are done. There are serious problems that need to be corrected, and with the clowns currently in office, not just in the city although certainly including it, we're never going to turn anything around.

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4MikePrelee(38 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

Is this really news? Youngstown recognized that it was shrinkning and implemented the Youngstown 2010 plan to manage the transition. In addition, it has been recognized that manufacturing will no longer provide the engine for economic growth in the Mahoining Valley which is why the Youngstown Business Inucbator was created.

A major drag on any type of economic success is a lack of regionalization on the part of the area. JEDD's have been used successfully elsewhere to encourage investment but Mayor Williams got off on the wrong foot in attempting to use them in areas that had already been developed. Also, the region has too much government for its population. Most agencies and departments could be combined for regional service to lower the tax burden.

The tools are available to remove the region from this list but it will require changes that are uncomfortable to some people.

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5cooks50(20 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago


The suburbs are included in this as well this is talking about the entire area. So if you step out your small world you would realize that we are all in this together. its attitudes like yours that contributes to what this articles is saying.

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6Cbarzak(110 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes, Tyler's got the real facts here. It is not just Youngstown on that list, but this entire region. If only people around here realized that the entire region is often spoken for under the name of Youngstown, not because of it's history of corruption, but because it was the biggest center of an economy that gave birth to the area at one time. If only cultural memory wasn't so short and stunted in these parts.

From Forbes itself:

Youngstown, Ohio

(Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Penn., metropolitan statistical area)

Migration (since 2000): -28,435

Total population change: -32,260

June 2008 Unemployment: 7.3% (2000 average: 5.8%)

Annualized GDP growth: 1.2%

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7apollo(1227 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

While Forbes might be loosely including the suburbs in this survey, Youngstown is primarily the target of the decay.

Suburban populations have remained fairly constant or even grown during the time period where Youngstowns population has dropped precipitously. Crime in the suburbs is fairly tame and consistent, while Youngstowns crime is at or near the top of the crime stats.

Youngstown needs to downsize and cut their taxes in order to facilitate economic growth not increase taxes and rape the suburbs to maintain the status quo.

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8city_resident(528 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

Don't have time for a lengthy reply. But, crime wasn't even a factor in the Forbes report.

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9ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

Net, net, we need jobs here to make people stay. Long neglected, any thoughts of maintaining college educated youth. All the worry is always about GM & unions but people ignore white collar jobs. Hello! Wake up! Unions aren't the answer for everyone or the reality. If we want our children to stay or return, we need more businesses that want skilled, educated workers, too. Along with the jobs, good public schools are needed to get people to settle in Ytown limits & not the suburbs. We ALL (as in suburbs) need to come together & not see this as a Ytown only problem.

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10apollo(1227 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

Crime is one of the reasons people move out of Youngstown.

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11okie(1 comment)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

I was born and raised in Boardman and moved out of the state 10 years ago. I now live in Oklahoma. For those of you who don"t think Youngstown is dying, leave for a while and then go back . I can remember as a young child being at a football game at South High School(when it was still open) and seeing a set of brass knuckles for the first time. Yeah, a little scary for a child. Since then they have closed South High School. They have also closed Southside Hospital, Tod's Childrens Hospital and I hear Northside is next. What's left. Anybody remember Idora Park, gee it's closed now too! Look around. The crime rate is high and who really wants their kids to grow up around that. Youngstown never really had a good reputation and it's only gotten worse over the years. Good luck to anybody who thinks they can fix it now!

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12Tugboat(759 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

A letter to the editor today said this: "Among other foibles, our mayor and city council have spent almost $200,000 on two studies that neither Boardman, Austintown, Struthers, nor Campbell are interested in because implementation will ensnare them in the dismal politics of Youngstown city government."

And that's coming from a city resident. Anyone who speaks of 'coming together' right now is a fool.

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13cramsey0605(1 comment)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

I lived in youngstown (yes I know its in all lowercase thats how much respect I have for the city) for 20 years, I recently just moved to Charlotte, NC. After seeing the beauty and life that Charlotte has, I know now that Mayor Williams' 2010 plan is just his way of blowing smoke up our a**. youngstown was once a great steel city,in between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Now youngstown has turned into a filthy, crime and drug ridden hell hole. Small business owners are losing jobs left and right and no one seems to care. So I ask Mayor Williams, do you really think youngstown has a chance? Honestly, I feel that youngstown will slowly, but surely become just another town someone drives through on their way to somewhere nicer and larger. I know one thing, I will never return to youngstown unless its to visit family and friends, and hopefully convince them to leave.

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14citizenjane(3 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

If you think the same way and expect different results you'll be disappointed not to mention frustrated.

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15SCOutofTowner(4 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

This is a sad, but accurate, statement about Youngstown. I must agree with many of the comments, one needs to simply leave the area and experience other communities to really see the degradation of a once vibrant steel town. I too left right after my college graduation, 25 years ago. It saddens me to see the city struggle, I still have some family (many have moved to the South near me) and friends in the Youngstown area, they all seem to struggle with economic conditions.

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16Anita(20 comments)posted 7 years, 11 months ago

If Youngstown isn't decaying, nothing is. One of the problems with population loss is that the more talented people move away and the bad ones stay. That way you need just as many police as when you had 167,000 people.

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