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Migration Trends Don't Support the 'Golden Age' of Cities Narrative

"Who's Moving to the Cities, Who Isn't" suggest that the number of Americans selling the "Golden Age" cities narrative is greater than the number of Americans buying into it.
October 6, 2014, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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John Gallagher shares news of a new report by Alan Mallach for the Center for Community progress titled "Who's Moving to the Cities, Who Isn't" which "used Census data to ask whether the rate at which college-educated millennials and empty-nesters were moving back into cities exceeded the rate at which they were increasing statewide."

The report's findings undermine "the notion of a new 'Golden Age' for cities" in which Americans of all generations are abandoning the suburbs to move to the urban core.

Several of the magnet cities are indeed drawing above-average numbers of educated millennials, and some of the legacy cities — Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis — also have become significant millennial destinations. But other cities do no better than their statewide average, and Detroit and Newark actually are losing ground in their population of educated young people compared to statewide trends.

Similar trends hold true for older generations, writes Gallagher: "even fewer cities are attracting educated older boomers in the 45-and-over age group." 

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Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 in Center for Community Progress
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