Data Visualizations

30 Cities: An Introductory Snapshot


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American Cities: An Introductory Snapshot

CityChange in Assessed Property Values
Change in City Government Employees
City Unemployment Rate
City Median Household Income
City Population
Population Change
Metro Population
Atlanta-10.5%-16.8%11.1%$ 43,903432,4273.8%5,359,205
Baltimore9.2%0.1%10.2%$ 38,721619,493-4.9%2,729,110
Boston-4%-10.7%6.3%$ 49,081625,0876.1%4,591,112
Chicago-2.8%*-8.7%10%$ 43,6282,707,120-6.5%9,504,753
Cincinnati-1.8%-7.3%7.6%$ 31,301296,223 -10.6%2,138,038
Cleveland-5.0%-9.1%9.3%$ 25,371393,806-17.7%2,068,283
Dallas-7.8%-15.9%7.4%$ 40,5856,526,5482.9%6,371,773
Denver-8.9%-9.0%8.5%$ 47,371619,96811.8%2,599,504
Detroit-3.2%-13.3%18.2%$ 25,193706,585 -25.7%4,285,832
Houston-4.7%-0.2%6.9%$ 42,8772,145,146 9.8%6,086,538
Kansas City-3.8%-9.1%7.6%$ 43,810463,2024.9%2,052,676
Las Vegas-41.3%-9.4%12.2%$ 46,995589,31723.2%1,969,975
Los Angeles-2.4%-8.2%12.2%$ 46,1483,819,702 3.4%12,944,801
Miami-18.3%-8.1%10.3%$ 28,536408,75012.8%5,670,125
Minneapolis-8.0%-9.2%5.6%$ 46,682387,7531.3%3,318,486
New York5.1%-4.4%9.5%$ 49,4618,244,9103.0%19,015,900
Orlando-26.5%-11.8%8.4%$ 40,275238,30030.8%2,171,360
Philadelphia1.2%-5.4%10.7%$ 34,2071,536,4711.2%5,992,414
Phoenix-34.6%-10.1%7.5%$ 43,9601,469,47111.2%4,263,236
Pittsburgh1.0%-1.8%7.4%$ 35,947307,484-8.1%2,359,746
Portland6.2%-3.3%7.5%$ 47,033593,82012.2%2,262,605
Riverside-10.1%0.7%12.3%$ 51,331310,65121.7%4,304,997
Sacramento-9.4%-17.0%12.5%$ 47,908472,17816.0%2,176,235
San Antonio-2.1%1.3%6.5%$ 42,6131,359,758 18.8%2,194,927
San Diego-2.7%-6.8%8.9%$ 60,7971,326,179 8.4%3,140,069
San Francisco4.9%-5.5%7.4%$ 69,894812,826 4.6%4,391,037
Seattle-12.9%-3.3%6.5%$ 61,037620,77810.2%3,500,026
St. Louis-4.2%-4.6%9.5%$ 32,570318,069-8.7%2,817,355
Tampa-23.2%-4.5%9.3%$ 40,073346,03714.0%2,824,724
Washington, D.C.-9.0%-3.3%9.0%$ 63,124617,9968.0%5,703,948
Median-4.7%-7.7%9.0%$ 43,857618,7455.5%3,409,256


Change in Assessed Property Value (2009-2011) - Pew’s report, The Local Squeeze, shows how the ongoing housing crisis has led to declines in the property tax base, a trend affecting many large cities. A few cities, though, saw assessments increase in 2011. SOURCE: Data on Total Taxable Assessed Value was compiled by the Pew American Cities Project from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports of the 30 cities for fiscal years 2009 and 2011. Data for Taxable Assessed Value not available for Chicago for 2011. Data represented here for Chicago represents the change between 2009 and 2010.

Change in City Government Employees (2008-2011) - As budget pressures build, many cities have shrunk their workforce. As Pew’s report, The Local Squeeze, describes, reductions may reflect service cuts, higher demands on the remaining workers, or increased efficiency. SOURCE: Data on Full-Time Employees (FTEs) was compiled by the Pew American Cities Project from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports of the 30 cities for fiscal years 2008 and 2011.

City Median Household Income (2011) - The income of local residents directly or indirectly determines the revenue-generating capacity of each city.  Most cities with low median incomes also face the challenge of providing services to large populations in need. SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, DP03 Selected Economic Characteristics.

City Unemployment Rate (2012) - Unemployment is an indicator of the level of stress on a city’s economy and budget, affecting both tax revenue and the demand for services. Large cities tend to have higher unemployment rates than the U.S. average. SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Cities and towns above 25,000 population, 2012 Annual.

City Population (2011) – The number of people living within the city limits determines, among other things, the level of services required and the potential residential tax base. SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Census Population Estimates, April 1, 2011.

City Population Change (2000-2011) - Some U.S. cities have grown tremendously in the past decade; others have seen their populations shrink. Change in city population is a key indicator for local leaders in determining the tax base and what services are needed. SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Census Population Estimates, April 1, 2011; U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1 100- Percent Data,DP-1 Profile of General Demographic Characteristics, April 1, 2000.

Metro Population (2011) - Big cities anchor hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of people who live nearby and spend time in the city for work, recreation, or cultural events. These visitors contribute to the city’s economy and tax base and use local services, from public transportation to public safety.Metro population measures Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), as defined by the Census. SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Population Estimates, April 1, 2011.