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The population of the United States has increased steadily by roughly 2.5 million people every year since World War II. Throughout prosperity and hard times, Americans continue to have families. Many of the country's regions have expanded to accommodate this population increase. Some cities have grown faster than others as the result of being at the center of some important new technology or job market. Others have lost residents because of failing industries and migration. Nevertheless, some of these cities have continued to grow slowly, or at least remain relatively stagnant, buoyed by the rising tide of the national population.
All of the cities on this list experienced at least one of these devastating problems, which have caused tens of thousands -- and in some cases, hundreds of thousands -- of its residents to leave the region for other jobs and other homes. While it has been the primary focus of these cities to create new sources of employment for their residents, it may be years before people return, if they do at all.
1. New Orleans
Population Change 2000-2009: -128,813
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -26.63%
Home Vacancy: 21.5%
2. Flint, Mich.
Population Change 2000-2009: -13,266
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -10.63%
Home Vacancy: 18%
Population Change 2000-2009: -45,205
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -9.49%
Home Vacancy: 17.5%
4. Buffalo, N.Y.
Population Change 2000-2009: -21,970
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -7.52%
Home Vacancy: 17.2%
5. Dayton, Ohio
Population Change 2000-2009: -11,961
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -7.21%
Home Vacancy: 18.9%
Population Change 2000-2009: -22,056
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -6.61%
Home Vacancy: 14.1%
7. Rochester, N.Y.
Population Change 2000-2009: -12,180
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -5.55%
Home Vacancy: 15.3%