The following is an excerpt from Will Oremus | June 28, 2012 | Slate.com |
Since at least World War II, suburbs have represented the quintessential American mode of living. That may be changing.
More than half of the country’s 51 largest metropolitan areas saw greater growth within city limits than in their suburbs between July 2010 and July 2011, according to an analysis of new census data by Brookings Institution demographer William Frey and others. As the Wall Street Journal points out, that’s a reversal of a broad trend that has held since the 1920s, when the rise of the automobile prompted Americans to flee dirty, crowded cities for greener pastures.
This shift has been in the making for over a decade. As early as 1999, a Brookings report noted that “declining crime statistics, falling unemployment rates, balanced municipal budgets, and a resurgence in downtown living have cities across the country claiming that they are in the midst of a renaissance.” Back then, though, those claims were undermined by Brookings’ finding that suburbs were still outpacing cities in job growth. According to Frey’s new analysis, just five of the largest metropolitan areas saw greater urban than suburban population growth between 2000 and 2010. (One caveat: The U.S. Census itself can’t confirm Frey’s numbers, since it doesn’t break down the data in this way.)
The question now is…..
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