(zoom in)
Just as rats leave a burning ship, so too do people move out when opportunities dry up and cities fall into decline. Needless to say, a declining population hurts the tax roll and becomes an unstoppable spiraling force; fewer people means a shrinking city budget. That means fewer city services, which in turn drives people away. Canada's worst cities for population decline: Summerside P.E.I. (below), Cape Breton, N.S., Baie-Comeau, Que., Timmons, Ont. and Portage la Prairie, Man. and 30 other cities.

Affordable housing: 25
Household income: 172
Population growth: 144
Access to health care: 32
Overall crime: 136
Violent crime: 104
Total precipitation: 126
Pollution: 127
Culture: 154
(Rank is out of 179)
Source: MoneySense