Monday, July 9, 2018

‘Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century’ Review: Trying to Corral the Uncorralable 

An exhibition makes it clear that painting today is frantically trying to keep up with the winking, blinking and noise of electronic media.

Heather Gwen Martin’s ‘Trigonometric Functions’ (2010)
Heather Gwen Martin’s ‘Trigonometric Functions’ (2010) PHOTO: HALLMARK ART COLLECTION, KANSAS
Nashville, Tenn.
‘Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century” (whose title is unfortunately redolent of the “shock and awe” of the Iraq War) comprises work made before, or independently of, Frist Art Museum chief curator Mark Scala’s idea for the exhibition. Like all anthology shows, this one is a kind of collage, a meta work of art. Of course, the products of artists are often used in ways their makers didn’t intend, and contemporary artists are happy to be included in almost any reputable museum exhibition.

Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century
Frist Art Museum
Through Sept. 16
Mr. Scala’s operative thesis for this gathering of 52 works by 39 international artists is grounded in what he refers to as the world’s “social body, billions of bodies” acted upon by “larger forces, which seem uncontainable.” (We’re talking global warming, immigration, wars, political extremism, pollution, and more.) This is about as big a theme for a show of paintings as ever there was. Naturally, questions arise: Does the show work? Why didn’t a powerhouse museum in New York or Los Angeles come up with this sort of survey and take it on tour to more venues than the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Va. (where “Chaos and Awe” reappears beginning Nov. 15)? What does this exhibition including artists from, as Mr. Scala puts it, “the Congo to California” say about the current state of painting?
The answer to the first question is yes and no. Regarding the second, you’d have to ask the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or the Museum of Modern Art (which, in 2014 mounted a smaller painting survey, “The Forever Now,” with half the number of artists—all but three were American). Finally, “Chaos and Awe” makes it clear that painting today is frantically trying to keep up with the winking, blinking and noise of electronic media.
Kazuki Umezawa’s ‘Over the Sky of the Beyond’ (2014)
Kazuki Umezawa’s ‘Over the Sky of the Beyond’ (2014) PHOTO: KAZUKI UMEZAWA/PIZZUTI COLLECTION
As is often the case, a single work can represent the thrust of a show. Here it’s Corinne Wasmuht’s enormous triptych (with almost invisible seams and meant to be seen as a contiguous whole) “Bibliotheque/CDG-BSL” (2011). The title apparently refers to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris—a repository of about as much knowledge and opinion as can be crammed, in traditional physical format, into one place—coupled with the airport codes for Paris and Basel, Switzerland (home of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art fair, which is held annually).
It’s a daunting painting, both technically (oil paint on wood mounted on aluminum) and pictorially, with a kind of architectural psychedelia spread in organized form across almost 165 square feet of surface. If you step back far enough, you can see its three sections progressing, left to right, from mostly grayish to warmer colors and then to cool ones. Most of the imagery has been lifted from the exhibition’s lurking foe, the internet. Its wildly varying scale (partial human figures five feet tall to some no more than little clots of paint) and institutional glare are supposed to say something, one assumes, about the socially, politically and culturally overwhelmed and unmoored state in which we currently exist.
Dannielle Tegeder’s ‘Lightness as It Behaves in Turbulence’ (2016)
Dannielle Tegeder’s ‘Lightness as It Behaves in Turbulence’ (2016) PHOTO: DANNIELLE TEGEDER/CARRIE SECRIST GALLERY, CHICAGO
“Chaos and Awe” contains some wonderful paintings. Among them are Dannielle Tegeder’s crisp and airy “Lightness as It Behaves in Turbulence” (2016); Heather Gwen Martin’s bright, Ellsworth-Kelly-on-a-trapeze “Trigonometric Functions” (2010); and “Everything” (2004), a handsomely absurd, rusty orange mélange of city maps by Guillermo Kuitca.
The abstractions and semi-abstractions here fare generally better than the figurative paintings because those modes are more tolerant of artists’ throwing in everything but the proverbial kitchen sink; some painters, such as Kazuki Umezawa with “Over the Sky of the Beyond” (2014) and Nashvillian James Perrin with “Semiosis on the Sea” (2015), toss veritable dishwashers and stoves onto the pile. One exception to representational painting’s second-tier status is Neo Rauch’s “Waiting for the Barbarians” (2007), in his trademark style of a 1930s magazine illustrator having been hit on the head and wandering the streets, disoriented. His subject is racism and colonialism, and the painting delivers political content more subtly and convincingly than any other work in the show. Its realism shows white colonizers preparing for an attack by natives, but the absurdist composition reveals the injustice of their cause.
Corinne Wasmuht’s ‘Bibliotheque/CDG-BSL’ (2011)
Corinne Wasmuht’s ‘Bibliotheque/CDG-BSL’ (2011) PHOTO: CORINNE WASMUHT/PETZEL, NEW YORK
At times, “Chaos and Awe” can look like a Master of Fine Arts degree exhibition on steroids. Minimalism (with a small “m”)—with its emphasis on form, rigor and restraint—is woefully out of style these days, and seemingly every ambitious young painter wants to make, as the show’s catalog puts it, pictures “in the era of the LED-backlit computer and smartphone [that] often engage with the kind of spaces and effects that the electronic screen generates.” Alas, as the same catalog admits, “what can be achieved today through painting looks very circumscribed compared to what is possible in other more immersive and interactive media.”
All of this may make it seem as though “Chaos and Awe” isn’t an excellent show. It is, in its noble, practically heroic attempt to corral the uncorralable, and in its rough-and-tumble arm-wrestling with computer and TV screens. “Chaos and Awe” tries mightily to be a breakwater against the art world’s anti-painting waves. The catalog should be bought and read by everyone interested in serious painting today, and those worried about its state would do well to make a trip to Nashville or Norfolk.
Mr. Plagens is an artist and writer in New York.

Let’s Celebrate the 14th Amendment - Note for a discussion, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United."

By Amanda Bellows, New York Times

Dr. Bellows is a historian.

July 8, 2018

Image from article

Why are some events forgotten while others loom large in national memory? The Civil War, the deadliest American conflict, is a formative part of our history. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Mathew Brady’s photographs of soldiers remain etched in the public consciousness. We remember the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that slaves in Confederate-held territory were from that point free.

But the fundamental story of the 14th Amendment, which extended citizenship to African-Americans, has been overlooked. One hundred and fifty years since the amendment’s ratification, that story is worth remembering.

When the Civil War began in 1861, approximately four million African-Americans were enslaved. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, in 1863, left three-quarters of a million people in bondage. Because the proclamation presaged slavery’s demise, however, African-Americans across the nation joyfully celebrated its anniversary in the years after.

Only after Confederate defeat in the spring of 1865 did the United States formally and entirely end slavery — ratifying the 13th Amendment later that year. At last, the A.M.E. bishop and former slave W. J. Gaines remembered, “the dark night, so full of suffering and unrequited toil, was gone forever.” Even so, African-American freedmen and women were not yet citizens. They remained in a kind of legal limbo in which they lacked constitutionally based civil rights.

For them, the decade of rebuilding that followed the Civil War was at once a time of trepidation and of hope for a better future. Called Reconstruction, it was characterized by political strife, economic peril and racial violence. In 1865, Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor, welcomed former Confederates back into the Union, many of whom sought to re-establish control over emancipated African-Americans. Former Confederate states created laws known as “black codes” that restricted former slaves’ mobility and choice of employment and denied them civil and political rights. Black codes created conditions that were startlingly similar to slavery in parts of the South.

Congress responded by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which declared that anyone born in the United States was a citizen, and promised African-Americans equal protection under law. Johnson, sparring with Congress, vetoed the bill, but the legislators overrode him. Still, the law did not go far enough to guarantee rights to freed slaves. The Republican-led Congress consequently urged the passage and ratification of an amendment to the Constitution that would make unassailable the definition of American citizenship by birthright.

On July 9, 1868, the required majority of states ratified the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship to anyone born in the country, including African-Americans. Now, every American born or naturalized in the United States was promised due process and equal protection of the laws. The 14th Amendment also forbade states from passing legislation that restricted the “privileges and immunities” of citizens, without precisely defining what these were.

Would the 14th Amendment adequately safeguard the rights of the nation’s black citizens? The abolitionist Frederick Douglass had feared that white Southerners would hardly “consent to an absolutely just and humane policy toward the newly emancipated black people so long enslaved and degraded.” Indeed, in the years that followed Reconstruction, Southern states enacted oppressive laws that segregated blacks and undid the work of the 15th Amendment, in 1870, that granted black men the right to vote.

Some scholars see the 14th Amendment’s ambiguity as a weakness. The historian Stephen Kantrowitz argues that “the amendment’s failure to specify equality of political rights would haunt the next century of American history.” In addition, the Supreme Court interpreted the 14th Amendment narrowly during the late 19th century. In a series of rulings that included Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, which established the doctrine of “separate but equal,” the Supreme Court interpreted the 14th Amendment in a way that did not require the federal government to protect blacks from violence and allowed seemingly race-neutral laws to be applied in unequal ways.

By the turn of the century, black disenfranchisement was nearly complete in the South. In a letter to Harper’s Weekly in 1904, a Georgian declared that “the vast majority of Southern Negroes today do not even know that they are entitled to vote.”

During the civil rights era beginning in the 1950s, however, the Supreme Court reversed course. It found sizable new meanings in the 14th Amendment, holding that it guaranteed desegregated public schools, permitted interracial marriage and ensured equal political representation at the state level. The 14th Amendment also served as the basis for decisions striking down policies that discriminated against pregnant women and denied funding for undocumented children to attend public schools in the 1970s and 1980s. Section 5 of the 14th Amendment gave Congress “power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

An even broader interpretation of the 14th Amendment may reshape American society in the 21st century. In Zadvydas v. Davis in 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that indefinite government detention of aliens violated the Constitution’s due process clause. More recently, Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 led to the overturning of states’ bans on gay marriage. The court cited the due process clause of the 14th Amendment in the majority opinion, arguing that “the fundamental liberties protected by the 14th Amendment’s due process clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs.”

In the last 50 years, the Supreme Court’s evolving interpretations of the 14th Amendment have led to an expansion of civil rights. Its decisions have also produced a system of federalism that significantly differs from that of 1868 through the reallocation of power from the states to the federal government. Thanks to the 14th Amendment, with its plain text authorizing Congress to act in perpetuity, the contours of our federal system continue to shift.

The question remains: How will the Supreme Court interpret the rights promised by this critical amendment in future cases of national importance? We can only hope that, in the words of Frederick Douglass, it will continue to “give full freedom to every person without regard to race or color in the United States.” While 150 years have passed since the ratification of the 14th Amendment, it is not too late to give this powerful document its due.

Friday, July 6, 2018

The clown who plays king ...

15 Population migration patterns: US cities Americans are abandoning

Michael B. Sauter, 24/7 Wall Street, USA TODAY

Each year, roughly 40 million Americans, or about 14% of the U.S. population, move at least once. Much of that movement includes younger people relocating within cities, but it is trends of Americans moving to warmer climates, more affordable areas, and better job opportunities that have largely determined migration patterns in recent decades.
Because of those long-term patterns, as well as the recent period of economic recovery, cities in some parts of the country have lost tens of thousands of residents.
To find the 50 U.S. metropolitan areas that have had the largest net decline in population as a result of migration between 2010 and 2017, 24/7 Wall Street reviewed population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program.
The 50 cities where the most people are moving away from can primarily be found in the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast, particularly in states like Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and New York. Among the cities where people are leaving in droves are places such as Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, New York, and Los Angeles.
William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy research group, explained that these cities that have been losing thousands of residents due to migration are part of the long-term trend of movement from the Northeast and the Midwest to warmer climates, a trend that has increased in recent years.
“The story of the broader migration pattern in the U.S. is from Snow Belt to Sun Belt," Frey said. "That migration has slowed a little bit in the early part of the decade, when we were still dealing with the aftermath of the recession, but it's coming back.”

50. Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,011
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +2.2% (97,585 to 99,703)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 12,364 births, 3,417 deaths
  • Median home value: $226,900
49. Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,070
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -7.4% (143,674 to 133,054)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 9,624 births, 13,203 deaths
  • Median home value: $93,400
48. Hinesville, Georgia
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,171
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +3.2% (77,919 to 80,400)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 12,218 births, 3,030 deaths
  • Median home value: $133,600
47. El Centro, California
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,219
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +4.8% (174,528 to 182,830)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 22,531 births, 7,106 deaths
  • Median home value: $170,900
46. Bakersfield, California
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,314
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +6.4% (839,621 to 893,119)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 102,106 births, 41,099 deaths
  • Median home value: $204,200
45. Norwich-New London, Connecticut
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,365
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.8% (274,059 to 269,033)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 19,518 births, 17,252 deaths
  • Median home value: $242,000

44. Fresno, California
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,571
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +6.3% (930,495 to 989,255)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 113,926 births, 47,252 deaths
  • Median home value: $238,100
43. Macon-Bibb County, Georgia
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,877
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.5% (232,286 to 228,914)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 21,752 births, 17,233 deaths
  • Median home value: $122,000
42. Anchorage, Alaska
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,464
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +5.3% (380,821 to 400,888)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 43,973 births, 15,756 deaths
  • Median home value: $299,700
41. Vineland-Bridgeton, New Jersey
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,476
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -2.6% (156,628 to 152,538)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 14,926 births, 10,604 deaths
  • Median home value: $165,900
40. Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,511
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -2.1% (280,564 to 274,541)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 22,920 births, 20,396 deaths
  • Median home value: $125,700

39. Mobile, Alabama
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,517
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.2% (413,143 to 413,955)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 40,422 births, 30,886 deaths
  • Median home value: $126,800
38. Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,550
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.7% (274,540 to 269,918)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 22,801 births, 18,976 deaths
  • Median home value: $215,100
37. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,741
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +5.6% (366,322 to 386,662)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 47,548 births, 19,638 deaths
  • Median home value: $134,600
36. Jacksonville, North Carolina
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,791
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +9.1% (177,799 to 193,893)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 30,768 births, 7,184 deaths
  • Median home value: $151,500
35. Yakima, Washington
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,916
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +2.9% (243,237 to 250,193)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 29,681 births, 13,811 deaths
  • Median home value: $166,300

34. Binghamton, New York
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,470
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -3.8% (251,737 to 242,217)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 18,295 births, 18,409 deaths
  • Median home value: $121,000
33. Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,495
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -5.0% (131,356 to 124,756)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 11,814 births, 9,110 deaths
  • Median home value: $130,100
32. Farmington, New Mexico
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,633
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -2.4% (130,045 to 126,926)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 13,381 births, 6,949 deaths
  • Median home value: $153,100
31. Lawton, Oklahoma
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,641
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -2.3% (130,291 to 127,349)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 14,355 births, 7,848 deaths
  • Median home value: $124,900
30. Charleston, West Virginia
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,772
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -5.6% (227,061 to 214,406)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 18,078 births, 20,856 deaths
  • Median home value: $111,300

29. Saginaw, Michigan
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,783
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -4.1% (200,169 to 191,934)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 16,380 births, 14,912 deaths
  • Median home value: $96,200
28. Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,001
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -9.3% (100,278 to 90,963)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 8,244 births, 7,701 deaths
  • Median home value: $84,700
27. Montgomery, Alabama
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,317
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.2% (374,541 to 373,903)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 35,032 births, 25,380 deaths
  • Median home value: $135,700
26. Wichita, Kansas
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,335
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +2.3% (630,924 to 645,628)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 65,873 births, 40,647 deaths
  • Median home value: $132,400

25. Watertown-Fort Drum, New York
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,901
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.8% (116,232 to 114,187)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 15,196 births, 6,527 deaths
  • Median home value: $149,600
24. Albany, Georgia
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,964
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -3.9% (157,500 to 151,434)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 15,175 births, 10,379 deaths
  • Median home value: $109,600
23. New Haven-Milford, Connecticut
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -11,253
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.2% (862,462 to 860,435)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 64,732 births, 55,491 deaths
  • Median home value: $247,600
22. Visalia-Porterville, California
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -12,390
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +5.0% (442,178 to 464,493)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 55,606 births, 20,845 deaths
  • Median home value: $186,600

21. Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -12,410
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.3% (439,811 to 440,933)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 46,192 births, 32,742 deaths
  • Median home value: $150,900
20. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Connecticut
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -13,682
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.2% (1,212,398 to 1,210,259)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 86,636 births, 75,155 deaths
  • Median home value: $247,400
19. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -14,057
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -4.2% (565,799 to 541,926)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 40,696 births, 50,302 deaths
  • Median home value: $106,000
18. Peoria, Illinois
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -14,415
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.8% (379,186 to 372,427)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 35,268 births, 27,573 deaths
  • Median home value: $136,800
17. Hanford-Corcoran, California
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -14,442
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.9% (152,982 to 150,101)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 17,121 births, 5,895 deaths
  • Median home value: $190,500

16. Rochester, New York
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -15,934
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.2% (1,079,691 to 1,077,948)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 84,317 births, 69,938 deaths
  • Median home value: $138,900
15. Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -17,233
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +4.3% (406,219 to 423,725)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 53,118 births, 18,432 deaths
  • Median home value: $80,000
14. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia-North Carolina
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -17,297
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +2.9% (1,676,817 to 1,725,246)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 163,787 births, 97,935 deaths
  • Median home value: $239,900
13. Syracuse, New York
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -17,717
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.2% (662,625 to 654,841)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 52,435 births, 42,535 deaths
  • Median home value: $133,300
12. Toledo, Ohio
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -18,475
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.0% (610,002 to 603,668)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 54,309 births, 42,313 deaths
  • Median home value: $129,200
11. Rockford, Illinois
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -18,789
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -3.2% (349,431 to 338,291)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 30,366 births, 22,915 deaths
  • Median home value: $121,600
10. New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -21,503
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +3.9% (19,566,480 to 20,320,876)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 1,811,927 births, 1,035,505 deaths
  • Median home value: $426,300

9. El Paso, Texas
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -21,829
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +5.1% (804,123 to 844,818)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 98,803 births, 36,570 deaths
  • Median home value: $119,600
8. Flint, Michigan
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -22,658
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -4.3% (425,788 to 407,385)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 35,720 births, 31,707 deaths
  • Median home value: $106,900
7. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -27,959
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +1.3% (1,555,954 to 1,576,236)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 144,429 births, 95,601 death
  • Median home value: $204,000
6. Memphis, Tennessee-Mississippi-Arkansas
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -30,000
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +1.8% (1,324,827 to 1,348,260)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 136,058 births, 82,670 deaths
  • Median home value: $142,400

5. Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -33,117
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.9% (2,077,271 to 2,058,844)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 168,361 births, 153,138 deaths
  • Median home value: $146,100
4. St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -39,894
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.7% (2,787,763 to 2,807,338)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 246,280 births, 186,111 deaths
  • Median home value: $169,200
3. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -54,640
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.4% (4,296,317 to 4,313,002)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 364,121 births, 293,091 deaths
  • Median home value: $160,700
2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -93,959
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +4.1% (12,828,961 to 13,353,907)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 1,202,115 births, 578,750 deaths
  • Median home value: $578,200

1. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin
  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -296,320
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.8% (9,461,541 to 9,533,040)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 869,178 births, 501,469 deaths
  • Median home value: $229,900

Detailed findings

Not all the cities with the largest net declines in population from migration since 2010 are necessarily the fastest shrinking cities. However, among the U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest net population declines due to migration, the vast majority have had the largest overall decreases in population.
Two notable exceptions are New York and Los Angeles. While tens of thousands more people moved out of each city than moved in, both cities have still had among the highest net increases in population. This is because of natural population growth -- hundreds of thousands more people in these cities have been born than died. Notably, Los Angeles had a net migration loss of 93,959, but the overall population increased by over three-quarters of a million people because of births.
Frey explained that movement from New York and Los Angeles to many of the cities with the largest net migration increases is due to residents of these cities getting pushed out because of rising populations and prices, the latter of which is a product of the economic recovery. "Now that things are picking up again, people are moving out of cities. As the housing market is coming back, people are being sucked out of pricey areas to where it is more affordable again.”
Frey gave the example of one common migration pattern: Los Angeles to Las Vegas, the latter of which had the 15th highest net population increase due to migration. Los Angeles has always lost residents to Las Vegas, but when the recession hit and housing prices fell, that movement slowed significantly.
Now that housing prices have recovered in Los Angeles and have become too expensive for many residents, people are once again moving out of the city in droves. As of 2016, Los Angeles had the seventh highest median home value of any metropolitan area, at $578,200. Las Vegas’ median home value is just slightly more than half that, at $233,700.
“The same sort of thing is true for a place like New York,” Frey added. “There has always been huge movement going from New York to Florida, but during the Great Recession period that slowed up quite a bit, and now it is picking up again.”
Frey added that the reasons behind the decline in population in cities like Los Angeles and New York -- overcrowding and high prices -- are very different than the reasons for decreases in other cities on this list, notably Rust Belt cities like Flint, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; and Rockford, Illinois; and even larger cities like St. Louis, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. These cities have been losing domestic migrants for decades due to stagnating economic conditions stemming from the decline of American manufacturing.
To identify America’s Fastest Declining Cities, 24/7 Wall Street reviewed the annual estimates of resident population and the estimates of the components of residential population change from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017, provided by the American Community Survey. Population, and home value data also came from the 2016 American Community Survey.