Seven Cities That Have Gone Bust (And Lived to Tell the Tale)

Nate Berg takes a look at the seven biggest cities to have filed for bankruptcy in the last two decades, the largest of which officially broke the bank as of yesterday.

Yesterday was a dark day for Stockton, California, as it set a new record for the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy.

But Berg notes that "more than 600 municipalities (including counties) have filed for bankruptcy since Chapter 9 filings first became an option in the 1930s, according to this article from ABC News." The seven largest of those municipalities, along with the dates they went under, are:

  1. Stockton, Calif. (2012)
  2. Bridgeport, Conn. (1991)
  3. Vallejo, Calif. (2008)
  4. Harrisburg, Penn. (2011)
  5. Prichard, Ala. (1999, 2009)
  6. Central Falls, R.I. (2011)
  7. Desert Hot Springs, Calif. (2001)

At four-fifths the size of all other cities on the list combined, Stockton (pop. 291,707) is the most populous by a long shot. Hopefully, it's a record that won't be challenged again any time soon.

Full Story: The 7 Biggest Cities Ever to File for Bankruptcy


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