Suburbs Lag As Urban Core Mark Population Gains

William Frey of Brookings Institution analyzes census data from 2008-2009 in a WSJ economics blog that unmistakably shows a reduction of growth within suburban parts of metro areas while the cities in metro areas have increased in population.

Frey is quick to note that one year does not indicate a long-term pattern. Nonetheless, the differences in urban vs. suburban growth, if only for one year, are noteworthy in a growing number of metro areas.

"Suburban growth lagged from July 2008 to July 2009, another indication of how the recession and housing bust have kept people trapped in place, according to an analysis of Census data by Brookings Institution demographer William Frey. "There has been a widespread slowdown in suburban growth especially since mid decade," says Mr. Frey.

The slowdown was especially stark in cities hit hardest by the housing bust, including Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orlando. (See a sortable chart of city growth).

In 2008-2009, 13 metro areas - including Chicago, Seattle, Washington DC, Denver and Charlotte - saw their core city area grow faster than the suburbs, up from 6 in 2004-2005."

Contributor's Note: Article includes chart showing "City vs. Suburb Growth" within metro areas.

Thanks to Lowell Grattan

Full Story: Suburb Population Growth Slows


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