Urban Fold

American Youth Go Suburban

The youth of America will ditch its cities in favor of the suburbs, according to this op-ed from Joel Kotkin.

Kotkin writes that the latest census figures show more people moving into suburban areas -- including younger populations.

"The simple, usually inexorable effects of maturation may be one reason for this surprising result. Simply put, when 20-somethings get older, they do things like marry, start businesses, settle down and maybe start having kids.

An analysis of the past decade's Census data by demographer Wendell Cox shows this. Cox looked at where 25- to 34-year-olds were living in 2000 and compared this to where they were living by 2010, now aged 35 to 44. The results were surprising: In the past 10 years, this cohort's presence grew 12% in suburban areas while dropping 22.7% in the core cities. Overall, this demographic expanded by roughly 1.8 million in the suburbs while losing 1.3 million in the core cities."

Full Story: Why America’s Young And Restless Will Abandon Cities For Suburbs



more false "statistics"

Kotkin and Cox are quite a pair. They must be expert readers of "how to lie with statistics". This time, they track the 25-34 age group in 2000 vs the same group in 2010 (now 35-44). Since a higher percentage of that group are now in the suburbs than they were in 2000, this must mean that the flight to the suburbs is continuing at as great a pace as ever, right? Wrong. Of course people tend to suburbanize more as they begin having kids. The real comparison is what percentage of 25-34 year old live in the suburbs in 2010 vs the same age group in 2000. On top of that, simple population figures are not a one-to-one surrogate for actual demand. It makes no adjustment for the fact that most desirable urban areas are significantly more expensive than their suburban counterparts.

False Correlations

You have to love how Kotkin claims that the decline in the housing market in central cities shows that urbanism is not on the rise. Of course housing in central market is in decline; the housing market everywhere is in decline. However, central city housing is in decline much less than in suburban developments. It's amazing anyone listens to the disingenuous Kotkin.

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