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Newsweek calls Rochester a "dying" city

Cold - but not dying.
Zack Seward
Cold - but not dying.

The bipolar list parade keeps marching on. The latest accolade: Newsweek says Rochester is a "dying" city.

Just how "dying" it is is a bit unclear: It's either the 4th most dying or the 7th most dying, depending on the URL.

Either way, it's probably an indication of the lightweight analysis that generated the rankings. The criteria for “dying” status are 1.) a decline in overall population and 2.) a decline in the number of residents younger than 18. That’s it.

We took a look at some Census data last month to see how our upstate cities had fared in the 2000s. And though it's true that Rochester saw some fairly significant economic declines, there are plenty of indicators that suggest things are looking up.

So while the city might be "dying," it's also affordablesmart and a great "place to start over."

Rochesterians seem generally befuddled by the latest ranking. Responses on Twitter range from tepid endorsement, to plain denial, to outright anger. [Note from "outright anger" tweep @loosecanvas: "I was trying to be the 'stop retweeting and do something about it' guy."]

Whether or not Rochester (or any of the other cities listed as "dying") justly deserves to be slapped with the "Cities With Bleak Futures Ahead" title, is hard to say.

It's easier to say that this is yet another example of lists being the low hanging fruit of the Internet.


Update: Mark Peterson, CEO of Rochester business booster Greater Rochester Enterprise, chimes in with this video response to the Newsweek ranking. Peterson's opening salvo: "Mark Twain once said there are liars, damn liars and statistics." Zing!

WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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