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American Cities That Are Running Out Of People

4. Buffalo, N.Y.

Population: 270,240

Population Change 2000-2009: -21,970

Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -7.52 percent

Home Vacancy: 17.2 percent

Another victim of the Erie Canal boom and bust, Buffalo was the 13th largest city in the country just before WW II. It is now the 70th. Like Rochester, the city was once a premier mill town due to its location to the canal. Massive electricity generation from Niagara Falls improved Buffalo’s industrial capacity, and the city referred to itself as the “City of Lights” for a time because of its power production. The collapse of the canal and improvements in the energy industry which made Niagara Falls less important led to the mass migration from the city which continues to this day. In the 1970?s alone, Buffalo lost more than 100,000 residents, roughly a third of its current population.

(AP Photo/David Duprey)

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