Comeback Cities or the New Melting Pots: Explorations into the Changing Large Cities of New England

Eric Belsky, Daniel McCue

W06-7: This paper examines changes in the population of 50 of the largest cities in New England and groups them into what have become the conventional categories of long-term comeback cities, failed comeback cities, and recent comebacks based on how long population growth in these areas has been restored since 1980 and if it has been sustained through the year 2000. Information since 2000 is available but only as estimates that are subject to considerable measurement error. Hence the period after 2000 has been excluded from consideration. This classification of cities serves as a point of departure for a more thorough investigation of the demographic changes in these cities, and the extent to which population growth and decline has been accompanied by corresponding changes in poverty rates and rates of median house value change relative to statewide averages. The latter captures the capitalized value of perceived improvements in a place but also any changes in the mix of home values because it keys off the value of the median (middle-most) home in each city and state. In addition, other elements of change in the composition of residents and the housing stock in these cities are examined, including share of housing recently built, the age of residents, and the education levels of residents‚Ķ