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7 fastest shrinking cities

Whether it's due to crime, a lack of jobs or Mother Nature, these cities lost residents faster than any others last year, according to the Census Bureau.

East Stroudsburg, Pa.

shrinking cities east stroudsburg
  • 1-year population change: -0.7%
  • Change from 2000 to 2010: 22.5%

During the housing boom, many New York commuters moved to the East Stroudsburg area to take advantage of its inexpensive homes. They were willing to trade the 80-mile commute for more space, buying homes they couldn't have afforded closer to the city.

But the spike in gas prices put a strain on commuters, said John Moyer, the chairman of the county commissioners for Monroe County, where East Stroudsburg is located.

"The strain of spending a minimum of two hours each way, every day is bad enough but when the cost of commuting increases dramatically, as when gas prices are high, this may be the straw that breaks the camel's back," he said.

Plus, home prices have fallen dramatically, making it more affordable for people to move closer to the city. In the New York metro area, median home prices are down 25% from the mid-2006 peak.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Population loss is over the 12 months ending July 1, 2012.
  @CNNMoney - Last updated April 05 2013 09:58 AM ET

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