1. Deindustrialized area of the Midwest including, but not limited to: Illinois, Indiana, southeast Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, and western Pennsylvania. This area is called so because it suffered from problems that arose when manufacturing centers closed in the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's. This in turn led to an out migration of whites (white flight) who lost their jobs and an in migration of southern blacks who took over the deindustrialized areas, which led to a severe increase in crime. Many of those who left headed south for the Sun Belt. Major cities that suffered somewhat from the Rust Belt problems include Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus. Cities hit especially hard include Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. Ironically, all of these cities have revitalized their downtowns and become popular tourist destinations with major attractions. Only two major cities, Indianapolis and Columbus, have grown substantially despite being Rust Belt cities. In fact, one can say these cities have survived the "curse" of the Rust Belt. Only time will tell what happens next to these major cities.
by K-Ro July 19, 2005
by Capital_T December 19, 2010
An area of the United States stretching from the Great Lakes to New England that has seen numerous plant closings and job losses in heavy manufacturing over the past several decades. It includes the states of Michigan, far NW Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and perhaps parts of New England. The demise of the steel and auto industries has caused the biggest headaches for the area. The steel industry has been faced with tough competition from overseas markets. The situation is similar for the auto industry, except labor unions and foreign competition in auto sales have been the reason for the job losses at the "Big 3," as plants close or layoff numerous workers for cheaper labor in Mexico. The state of Michigan, especially the Detroit area has seen the most job losses in the country, thanks to the challenges of the auto industry. Much of Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and Western New York State have been hit especially hard. Detroit and Pittsburgh are the epitomes of the Rust Belt.
by krock1dk November 03, 2007
1. Declining industrial area of the Midwest including but not limited to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania that declined dramatically in the 1960's and 1970's after factories were closed and the im-migration of Southern blacks caused widespread white flight, resulting in severe population loss. Examples of large Rust Belt cities include Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. Cleveland, St. Louis, Detroit, and Pittsburgh were hit especially hard, although, ironically, these cities are making a comeback and revitalizing their downtown areas with attractions.
by K-Ro of Naptown July 19, 2005
Many factories in the rust belt cities had previously closed down due to temporary economic decline.
by Light Joker May 17, 2006