Big cities are getting bigger, according to these new numbers. Analysts say the recession has caused many people to leave behind their suburban homes for more affordable inner-city locations. Domestic migration to suburbs and exurbs has fallen sharply.
"The central-city population in U.S. metropolitan areas with more than one million people (excluding New Orleans, where recent growth rates reflect residents returning to the city following Hurricane Katrina) grew at an annual rate of 0.97% between July 2007 and July 2008, according to Mr. Frey's analysis. That compared with a growth rate of 0.90% in 2006-2007, and growth rates around 0.5% in the years between 2002 and 2005, when the robust real-estate market led to new jobs and new housing developments outside the cities, where open land is more plentiful."