Grand Rapids ‘Dying?’ Residents Disagree

From 2000 to 2009, the city of Grand Rapids, Mich. lost 2.1 percent of its population, according to census data. That statistic is not refuted. Does that population loss merit a label of a “dying city?”

That’s an entirely different question.

In January, Newsweek listed Grand Rapids as one of its top 10 dying cities. It’s one of three Michigan cities to make the dubious list. But residents of the west Michigan city – Grand Rapidians? – did not appreciate the designation.

Citizens went on the offensive Thursday, responding with a lip-dubbedYouTube video set to the tune of Don MacLean’s “American Pie” that highlights some recent vibrant civic additions and hundreds of residents.

The video has become a gathering point for civic pride in the city and online, a development not unlike the good feelings Eminem’s Chrysler commercial conjured in Detroit following the Super Bowl.

Following the release of the video, Newsweek distanced itself from the “dying” remarks. On its Facebook page, saying that it had picked up the content from mainstreet.com and does not agree with the remarks.

“It uses a methodology that our current editorial team doesn’t endorse and wouldn’t have employed. It certainly doesn’t reflect our view of Grand Rapids,” the magazine wrote in a statement.

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