Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Urban decline refers to a process that includes population loss and the concentration in cities of major social, economic, and environmental problems, such as high levels of unemployment and poverty and the deterioration of housing and public infrastructure. Sometimes used interchangeably with the terms urban decay and urban distress , urban decline is frequently measured by changes in population (particularly in relation to middle- and upper-income residents), unemployment, and poverty rates; changes in median household income; and changes in property values, housing tenure, and vacancy rates. While many metropolitan areas in the United States experienced significant population increases in the second half of the 20th century, the growth was not even, either across or within regions of the country. In general, cities in the South and West experienced significant growth, whereas older, industrialized cities in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest experienced significant declines in population. Part of the decline in ...