Suburbs and Exurbs Were Hit Hardest by Great Recession

A new report from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program shows that areas located 10-35 miles from America's central cities sustained far higher job losses during the recession, staunching the sprawl of people and employment.
April 19, 2013, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Before the recession, both jobs and people were moving to outer-ring areas," writes Isaac Riddle, who summarizes the key findings of a report released Thursday by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. "The report shows that the share jobs [sic] within 10 to 35 miles of metropolitan downtown areas increased by nearly 10 percent between 2000 to 2007. But from 2007 to 2010, the outer-ring areas experienced the highest level of job loss."

"Not only did the recession stall the movement of jobs from downtown to the suburbs, but during that same time period the largest metro areas experienced notable population increases within their central business districts," adds Riddle. "According to 2010 Census data, the outer suburbs either saw less growth or no growth in population as compared to the inner suburbs and downtown areas."

"In the wake of the Great Recession, policymakers and regional leaders have the opportunity to make strategic decisions about how they will pursue metropolitan growth," argues Elizabeth Kneebone, the report's author. "If the next period of economic expansion reinforces low-density, diffuse growth in metropolitan America, it will be that much harder for metro areas to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth over the long term."

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Published on Thursday, April 18, 2013 in Next City
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