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Austintown 5th-fastest dying town in U.S. says Forbes

Published: Wed, December 10, 2008 @ 6:00 a.m.

AUSTINTOWN — The township has been ranked the fifth fastest-dying town in America by Forbes magazine.

In a story published Tuesday on Forbes.com, Forbes reporter Matt Woosley writes that Austintown’s ties to the city of Youngstown account for part of the township’s loss of jobs and in-migration population, landing Austintown in the middle of the top 10.

The story refers to the township as one of the “manufacturing hubs hit hard by declines in the auto industry.”

Woosley’s numbers indicate that Austintown has faced a jump in its poverty rate, from 8.8 percent in 2000 to 13.8 percent in 2007.

According to the article, Forbes used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, a three-year study, released Monday. The Forbes Web site says it calculated the ranking using “income growth, the rate of domestic in-migration, the change in poverty, and the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher.”

Another Ohio town, Middletown, near Dayton, made the list at number 10. Bensenville, Ill., a Chicago suburb, topped the list with an average income loss among residents of 11.4 percent between 2000 and 2007.


1DRDAVE1965(80 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

gump.....where are you now?

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2a_non_e_mouse(15 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Yea baby us youngstowners dragging down the burbs with us

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3babs68(58 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

In actuality they reference Youngstown-Warren-Boardman. Considering that the unemployment rate is hovering around 9% I can only assume that it will be even a larger mass exodus from the area. Even the larger cities such as Cleveland/Akron/Canton are on the list. What a shame...I don't think that there was ever a recovery for the area. The biggest issue I see coming with all this is that crime is going to get worse, and I pray for the people that are hit hardest with this strong hold over the area.

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4ldchian(56 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

i've been reading these posts for a while and i'm constantly amazed by those who are actually pulling for gm to fail.

some have argued with your present hero that a gm closedown would not affect this area. youngstownmom said the steel mills closed and we're still here. well, half of us are.

someone even said if gm pulls out of the area he (or she, i don't know what sex sinthor is) would no longer have to pay $4.00 for a loaf of bread. which makes no sense whatsoever.

but the truth is, if not for gm and all those autoworkers who make way too much for doing so very little, this area would have sunk years ago. the taxes they pay and the goods and services they consume are what has kept us afloat.

and i don't need forbes magazine to tell me the community is dying. take away jobs, incomes, homes and all hope for recovery and what's left? austintown.

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Prosperity is good and poverty is bad. Generating high paying jobs and not cutting wages is the secret to recovery. Productivity at the GM plant is not the problem but slumping sales from the economic meltdown is the culprit. China has tapped into a huge oil pool sixty miles off the coast of Florida but our politicians wont allow our oil companies. Keeping energy costs within reason is a no brainer but we have far too many in Washington DC that only know how to sign their paychecks.


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6YoungstownMom(46 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Gee idchian, I thought you were never going to post again. I guess going back to actual newspaper copy was to dirty for your hands.

No one is pulling for GM to close, all we want is accountability. Why should we (those of us who pay taxes) bail out the auto industry. I believe that GM needs to do some fixing before they get our money, because if they don't they will blow through that money and then be back in Washingtown begging for some more.

It should not have to come out of our pockets to save over-bloated paying jobs. That goes for ALL (corporate and workers).

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7scrooge(563 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Hey guys, these numbers all came out before the current auto crisis. Once they add Lordstown to the mix the valley will move up a notch or 2.
Sure Youngstown will survive. 30 years from now it may be the size of Lowellville (No offense intended to anyone in Lowellville), but it will still be here--with luxury apartments downtown don't forget.

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8cityslicker(21 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Well now, it looks as if good old Austintown will soon be in need of a JEDD after all. I guess they better look at what the city of Girard is doing with Youngstown and climb aboard the JEDD train with Youngstown. Next stop, Boardman, ALL ABOARD !!!

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9AtownParent(565 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

People, just because Forbes put this list out, it does not sentence the area to death. It is common sense that we would be here. Look at all the manufacturing plants that have closed up. There was a story just recently about layoffs at a trucking company here in Austintown. It has been happening since 2000, a steady loss of jobs in the township. I don't tie this to Youngstown at all and there is no need to jump into a JEDD with them. We just need to get the country back on track and get the focus back on the manufacturing industry.

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10ldchian(56 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

no mom, i'm still here with clean hands. but i do recall you saying that while you're not as old as me (and i'm certain that's true) you remember when the steel mills closed and youngstown survived. the fact is it didn't. it's been slowly and steadily dying ever since. half of the population left and we're still reeling from it.

i'm all for accountability from the auto industry. lord, it had come to this for the government to step in and do something about the way it's been managed.

but a failure of the area's largest employer would be devestating. even if, as oldmangrump says over and over, bankruptcy would make it come back stronger, it won't here. lost wages and families cannot be recovered.

and if he has his way and all unions were to suddenly vanish, be prepared for a workforce who makes $10 an hour, with few or no benefits--until they finally get together as one and demand fairness.

you simply cannot count on companies to treat their workers fairly and with dignity. though i'm sure it has happened--somewhere, it's the exception rather than the rule.

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11cityslicker(21 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Face it Grump, sooner or later Austintown has to drink the koolade. Austintown will not survive for long without donig the same thing that Girard is doing with Youngstown. You have to pool your resources. Tell me what will happen when open enrollment happens because their is no money left in the school system. Youngstown passed their levy, things are on the right track. Austintown will be strapped for cash soon,and what happens then? The JEDD is looking better and better isnt it Grump?

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12ldchian(56 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

youngstownmom, you said, "I believe that GM needs to do some fixing before they get our money, because if they don't they will blow through that money and then be back in Washingtown begging for some more."

isn't that like telling someone who's drowning to stop first and then you'll administer cpr? they need the money now before it's too late. then they can clean house from the top and get rid of the guys who ruined things in the first place.

the american auto industry has always had the ability to run the business right. it just never had to before.

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13saysithowitiz(98 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Gruno commented, "Atown is a great place to live and work unlike Ytown.."
Not according to Forbes magazine buddy. What happened to that "untouchable" mentality you though Atown had? It looks like Atown is starting to catch up with Youngstown.Then what? Maybe you move further out, maybe Lake Milton.

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14henryviii1509(274 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

don't come to Lake Milton!!! we've had enough already, carjackings, murder and the like, do not belong in our little resort area.

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15dmets(575 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

henryvii1509: I agree with you. I think there has been one murder in lake milton since my family has been out there. Never really read anything bad about th lake area!

Austintown is a nice place to live, but youngstown is spilling into atown. That is the big problem. Eventually all of Mahoning county will be a hole. That is why I know some day I will no longer live in Ohio!!!

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16saysithowitiz(98 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree, Lake Milton is a nice place.... hopefully the blight of Austintown does not spread out that way. I think one of the biggest mistakes Youngstown ever made was selling Lake Milton... just look at those property values now!

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17dmets(575 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Do you honestly think people would have built out there if Youngstown still owned it? I would have to say NO WAY!! Plus Youngstown would have never fixed the damn! But you know Youngstown is spreading into Austintown, and will make it to Jackson, and then lake milton. YOungstown, like I said before, is going to bring down all of Mahoning county just give them time.

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18henryviii1509(274 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

those guys that robbed the credit union in lordstown, carjacked my buddy at the car wash in lake milton that same day

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19iq256(4 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

i believe it would only be a temp. fix anyway.our declining economy is a result of spending from the last two decades and an increased size of govt payroll,combined with the free trade act,and increasing min. wage,and the everlooming higher tax rate on the rich and successful.our govt has made poor decisions (dem. and rep.)with handling our economy.and for the obama supporters i hate to break it to you but one man no matter how good he speaks is not the answer to our problems.if you believe the pres. has control you really need to go back to school and re-study how your govt works!

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20cavs1981(32 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago


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21saysithowitiz(98 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes, Youngstown's problems are spreading outward to the "burbs." This is just starting to become an ideal situation for the city because as these problems move outward, the crime rate continues to drop within the city and make it look more attractive to businesses. Look at the statistics, last year there were 36 homicides in the city at this time, this year I believe the city is hovering around 30. Ten years ago or more we were murder capital USA. As businesses move into the city, developers will seize the opportunity to grab land and build. Property values will once again rise, people will move inward, the city will thrive and then it will happen all over again. It's a cycle. I'm not saying any of this is going to happen in the near future, it all depends on our suck ass economy.

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22tominbrooklyn(34 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

You wanna know a major problem in youngstown. Is the people that look at it as no big deal. It amazes me that people can say if GM fails that youngstown will still be there. Of course it will still be there but there will be nothing there but you. It's like people forget how much youngstown changed when the mills closed. Do you really think youngstown can afford to go though that again when it's already in a depressed state.

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23saysithowitiz(98 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Its time for Youngstown to target the technology and health care business sectors. These are growing sectors that will almost always provide jobs because technology keeps advancing and because people don't know how to take care of themselves. Just look at Pittsburgh, it used to be a heavy steel town just like Youngstown but as the mills closed the city was smart enough to diversify the businesses within, that way if one sector experiences problems(i.e. manufacturing) the whole city doesn't go to hell.

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24clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Hey Grump.....I told you so..won't be long before you want to buy my house and move back into the city where it's safe! Just glad I didn't pay for my house what you did for the status symbol of living in the "burbs".

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25clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

You getting liquored tonight, Metz? Don't blame you things are looking worse than ever

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26Youngstown_Strong(91 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

People forget Atown isn't really a town. It's a township, a suburb, a part of Youngstown. I grew up in Austintown and graduated from Fitch. The mailing address isn't actually Austintown, it is Youngstown.

Everyone in Atown, and the other burbs too, need to stop acting so contentiously about this JEDD. Like it or not, we are all Youngstown in the Mahoning Valley, if not in name than in fate. Obviously the numbers don't lie, if Youngstown continues to die, so will the valley.

The truth is that it doesn't feel so bad. When I was in high school at the beginning of this decade, Atown had no real shopping or restaurants. You had to goto Boardman or somewhere else. In the last five-six years Atown has built itself up a little. The problem is that people aren't moving in.

I agree that the lack a major employer is hurting but that is happening all across our country. Republicans will spin the death of American manufacturing by saying that small business is the most common form of employment today. The problem is that small business doesn't build communities like steel mills or Lordstown did. Small business doesn't get people to move into town.

To turn around the in migration in Atown and (the other parts of the valley) and get it off lists like the Forbes one, people have to embrace Youngstown. Team up with them because they share our fate. Time to get rid of the negative view of Youngstown... If the people of this area show a pride of the town and stand up for it, the national media will have a new angle when they look us up every four years and that will change the mind of some big business.

Be proud that your city has been through everything it has. Be proud that it is still standing. That you and everyone you know in the valley is still fighting. They don't make em quite like Ytown anymore, I'm proud of that.

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27xytown(63 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, Well, Well: I have been posting here for months (look back at my previous post's) stating Austintown was Youngstown's ghetto west and one of the most dilapted places in the U.S.

Everybody boohooed, cried, and said is wasn't so...

But here it is again another black eye for Y-Town's ghetto west! Right there in a national and respected magazine!!

Let's see? MOB ties, over bearing labor unions, corrupt public officials, contaminated soil, section 8 capital of the mid west, I think I'll move my business there.....

Pull off the interstate of Austintown's major exit at SR46 and I80 and look around, live nude dancing, body massage, empty boarded up gas station, open drug sales and hookers. WOW what a 1st and lasting opinion, a party town for every pervert and drug user who needs a spot to call home!!!

Now with GM on the brink of bankruptcy, Lordstown down to 2 shifts and posiibly on the 2010 shut down hot list (because of all the above, specifically the UAW presence here).



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28clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

You are SOOOOOO Right, XYTOWN, been trying to sell my house which is very nice, but I think I will end up getting less than I paid many years ago, but you know what, I don't care, I am getting out, the sooner the better, if I can and leave these guys to deal with the mayor, iffy politics, tax levys.....you can have it.

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29cityguy(109 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

This is the inevitable result of the mentality that insists on refusing regionalization. The suburb or township does not have the resources to continue at the status quo, ignoring Youngstown or avoiding it all together--it's really not hard to understand--you must work on improving the core and the core is, like it or not Youngstown. Boardman and Austintown are merely the result of white flight and this is a difficult base to sustain. As far as retooling the city to embrace high tech as Pittsburgh did, remember Pittsburgh is home to numerous colleges and universities and boasts an educated work force. YSU will never be able to supply this sophisticated workforce as long as it remains an open enrollment institution with more than 50 percent of its students in remedial classes. So, how do you attract educated workers into the city and the suburbs? Quality of life--this includes safe neighborhoods and streets ( not just downtown), cultural opportunities and tolerance for diversity. If, and I don't honestly know how, this could be achieved both the city and the suburbs would prosper--younger types and empty nesters would choose the city and growing families would likely choose the suburbs. Instead all of this competition and finger pointing has led to nothing but urban blight and suburban sprawl.

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30cityguy(109 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

I rest my case. And by the way, if you read the post it hardly implies a quick fix.

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31Jane(8 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Please quit posting if you cannot spell. It is painful to try to read.

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32scrooge(563 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

relax sweetheart! metz is trying his best. The spelling and grammar of most of these bloggers leave much to be desired.

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