"The Census Bureau reports today (June 27) that seven of the 10 most populous U.S. cities are within 500 miles of Mexico. In 1910, all 10 of the biggest cities were within 500 miles of the Canadian border.
The explosive growth in parts of the South and West has created boom cities that many people have never heard of. Gilbert, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb, has been adding more than 1,000 people a month for five years and had a population of 191,517 last year.
[Ed: See related link to "USA Today: Phoenix climbs to No. 5 in Census ranking of cities" showing Gilbert's growth at 73.9%, the highest of the nation's 125 most populous cities.].
In a change more symbolic of national population trends, Phoenix has supplanted Philadelphia as the nation's fifth-largest city, according to Census estimates for July 1, 2006.
The big exception to the smaller gains outside the Sun Belt is the Big Apple. New York City ranks No. 1 in attracting new residents since 2000, adding nearly 206,000 people. That's more than Phoenix, Houston or Los Angeles gained. Of the 35 cities that added the most population, New York is the only one not located in the South or West."
•Suburbanization. "Only 27% of Americans live in cities of 100,000 people or more, down from 27.5% in 2000, according to a USA TODAY analysis."
From USA Today: Phoenix climbs to No. 5 in Census ranking of cities:
"The list of the nation's biggest cities has transformed since 2000. See chart showing
the 125 most populous - based on July 1, 2006, estimates - and the change over six years".