Pittsburgh Made Number Six on Yahoo's American Cities That Are Running Out Of People List today. I am not really surprised that we made the list, or even by the number that we placed at. I am a little surprised at the reasons given. While they hit the mark on everything they said, I can think of a few more reasons people are leaving Pittsburgh.
Population Change 2000-2009: -22,056
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -6.61%
Home Vacancy: 14.1%
Known as the "Steel City," Pittsburgh was once the forge for the American industrial engine from the late 1800s through the late 1970s. At its peak, the city was home to more than 1,000 factories, including the mills owned by Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, which by itself employed over 340,000 workers during World War II. As the American steel industry collapsed in the 1980s, Pittsburgh suffered severe unemployment problems. In the past few decades, the city changed to a technology-based economy, but the population is still on the decline. Since 1950, Pittsburgh's population has declined by more than 50%.
I have lived in many places and Pittsburgh is not a very welcoming town. Some areas are better then others. The closer you are to the city the better it is. The farther you get out into the suburbs though the more you will experience racism, bigotry, and intolerance. No matter what your race, creed, religion, or sexual preference someone will hate you and for no reason and trust me they will have no problem telling you about it. This is one of the biggest obstacles for many people trying to get work if they are not capable of commuting to the city.
You may wonder why these people don't just take a bus closer to the city where they can take on a job with Google, Comcast, or now even Verizon. Well, if you could afford to pay the nearly ten dollar one way bus fare to work then you could afford to live closer to the city to begin with. However living close to the city comes with the pitfalls of bad schools, high crime, and poor police response. Our EMT's are even being sued right now for refusing to help people during a snow storm because they were to lazy to walk over a bridge. The patient died as a result.
Pittsburgh is not all bad. We have the Steelers, Primanti Brothers, great museums, tons of culture, fantastic universities, and for people who were born and raised here a lot of pride. Pittsburgh has a long way to go before people are going to want to live here, work here, and raise a family here again. We are not a lost cause but it is going to take a lot more then a visit from Glenn Beck to bring us around. Pittsburgh needs to change, and it's inhabitants with it.