The State of the Gateway Cities in 2012

It’s a new year, and annual census figures for US cities were recently released. MassINC has combed through these numbers to provide a fresh look at the state of the state’s Gateway Cities. This analysis reveals a sharp dichotomy. Gateway Cities are fairing well economically. Most are gaining population and most have recovered the jobs lost in the Great Recession. But as is often the case with cities, residents don’t always do as well economically as the urban economy in their midst.

Gateway Cities residents still have unemployment rates that exceed the state average by a higher than normal margin. They are still struggling to increase their educational attainment. In fact, despite a lot of recent attention, the achievement gap between Gateway City residents and the state average continues to grow wider.  
Unfortunately, efforts to advance both community and economic development in Gateway Cities will be severely inhibited by increasing pressures on local governments. The economic crisis has taken a real toll on the capacity of city governments. Without structural revenue reform, in the years ahead, reconciling underfunded municipal pensions will place further downward pressures on local governments.
For a closer look at the data revealing these trends, click here for MassINC’s State of the Gateway Cities 2012.

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