I mean, this should come as no shock! But the Anniston Star reported that the Anniston / Oxford metro, and Calhoun County, has experienced some of the worst population decreases, in the United States! In the past four years, two of the five cities in Alabama with the worst population declines have come from Calhoun County. And it’s not just the feds reporting this stuff. 24/7 Wall Street listed the Anniston / Oxford Metro as one of the 10 fastest shrinking metro areas in America. The metro was listed with other cities like Flint, MI, Farmington, NM, and other shrinking cities. Here is what they said about Anniston / Oxford.
The Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville metro area’s population shrank by 2.1%, or 2,670, from 2010 to 2014, the 10th largest percentage decrease compared to all large metro areas. While natural population growth was positive in most areas, it was negative in the Anniston area — that is, there were more deaths than births. In addition, more people migrated out of the area than into it from 2010 to 2014, with the population declining 2% due to migration. Weakening economic factors are partly behind the decline. While the area’s unemployment rate improved from 2010 to 2014, it was higher than the national rate in both years. Also, the Anniston metro area had a GDP per capita of $30,136 in 2013, far lower than the national figure of $52,093, and down more than 5% from 2010.
So, is this a shock, or comes as no surprise? It’s no surprise, this metro area has been losing thousands of jobs, and the only jobs being created are low paying retail or fast-food jobs. And if you look up and down the major drags in this area like Noble St. and Quintard Ave., you see plenty of empty buildings for rent or sale. In fact, almost half of the buildings in downtown Anniston are empty. There’s a reason why, the economy is bad here! And things get a whole lot worse!
I reported that the Milken Institute ranked the Anniston / Oxford Metro as the worst performing small metro area in America in 2014. Job growth is almost non-existent, wages are still falling, GDP growth is nowhere to be found, and real estate is not doing too well. Just drive around this area and see the many homes or buildings for sale. If you don’t have to worry about earning an income, this area has plenty of cheap homes you can buy up!
So, if you are unemployed and looking for jobs in the Anniston/Oxford metro, good luck with that. Your chances of finding anything in this metro area are slim to none. Also, our local leaders have not done hardly anything and have shown the “we don’t care” attitude when it comes to this metro area. The only promise is this “eco-tourism” thing, but it will take a lot more that cyclists to get this metro area back on track!
I wish things would be better here, but I just don’t see anything better coming anytime soon. And it’s a shame, because Anniston, Oxford, and Calhoun County has so much potential, but it’s not wanting to get the job done, sad! Maybe something will change, but most likely I would have moved away, along with a lot of other people! Want to know how to turn things around, view my presentation called How To Turn The Anniston / Oxford Area Around presentation!
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