At a time when cities like Austin and New Orleans have experienced tremendous growth, other cities are struggling to survive.

In the last two years, cities in America's Rust Belt have seen some of the sharpest population declines in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Why? Look at cities with populations above 100,000, and you'll see that 10 of the 12 cities with the largest population declines between 2010 and 2011 have economies based on heavy industry and manufacturing. That makes it tough to overlook the fact that the country lost 33.1 percent of its manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2010.

The city with the sharpest decline? Detroit, once known as America's "Motor City,' which has had to deal with disappearing industrial and auto-manufacturing jobs for several decades. Add to that the budget deficits and revenue-sharing agreements, and you can see a larger portrait of a city struggling with itself -- and with its people.

Here are some of America's most prominent shrinking populations:

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  • Baltimore, MD

    0.2 Percent Decline; -1,468 People

  • Cincinnati, OH

    0.2 Percent Decline; -727 People

  • Akron, OH

    0.4 Percent Decline; -708 People

  • St. Louis, MO

    0.4 Percent Decline; -1,225 People

  • Toledo, OH

    0.4 Percent Decline; -1,170 People

  • Rockford, IL

    0.4 Percent Decline; -649

  • Wichita Falls, TX

    0.6 Percent Decline; -622 People

  • Newport News, VA

    0.6 Percent Decline; -1,108 People

  • Hampton, VA

    0.8 Percent Decline; -1,035 People

  • Cleveland, OH

    0.8 Percent Decline; -3,009 People

  • Flint, MI

    0.9 Percent Decline; -876 People

  • Detroit, MI

    1 Percent Decline; -7,192 People