South Bend, dying?
An article in Newsweek Magazine recently concluded that South Bend, Indiana is one of 10 "dying" cities in the nation. They joined other Midwestern cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids in the listing, and were the only city in Indiana that made the list.
The listing came from two exclusive criteria of loss in population and a decrease in the 20s-30s population and an increase in its senior population. Frankly, I don't know what city in Indiana doesn't have the same issue, except for Indianapolis. This assumes you take one thing into consideration and that is the increase in the Latino population in virtually every small city across the Hoosier state. But does that count?
Indianapolis is not only the governmental capital of our state, but it is also the cultural and economic center of the state as well. It is the place young people move to, if they don't move out of Indiana. Young people move to the capital for the employment opportunities that exist, but also because of the venues for entertainment and recreation. Indianapolis capitalizes on quality of life opportunities and the remaining state scrambles to keep their lights on....because the taxpayers demand it. We need to come to grips with the fact that all of our cities are dying and what can be termed fiscal prudence on one hand can become a race to the bottom as we swallow ourselves in backward thinking.
I feel for South Bend. And quite frankly, all our small towns can identify more with them than we can with Indianapolis and that should be alarming. If you were to remove the growing Latino population found in each of our small cities, our numbers would likely mirror those of South Bend's. We are the ones suffering from brain drain, we are the ones suffering from a lack of employment opportunities, we are the ones unable or unwilling to even consider quality of life issues in our communities, and we are the ones with an aging population grasping onto power even as we wonder why there is a lack of engagement by a younger public. Just my thoughts.