Where Suburbs Outgrew Core Cities
A post on the Panethos blog examines examples from the United States of suburbs outgrowing—in terms of population—the original core city of the metropolitan area. In a conspicuous trend, most metropolitan areas that have managed this trick of population growth are located in Florida, designed as planned retirement centers. Norfolk, Virginia, which has been outgrown by Virginia Beach, provides a geographic exception.
The list of core cities overtaken by their suburbs includes recognizable names like Daytona Beach, FL; Naples, FL; and Hollywood, FL.
Such a population dynamic will crop up in the nomenclature used by the U.S. Census for describing metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). According to the post, "[when] a suburb exceeds the core city in population, the Census Bureau’s references to the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) [pdf] begins to change, as well. For instance, what once was the 'Fort Myers MSA,' eventually became the 'Fort Myers-Cape Coral MSA,' and is now known as 'Cape Coral-Fort Myers MSA,' as the moniker is revised with the changing population status. Poor Fort Pierce isn’t even listed as part of the metropolitan area name any longer, as it is just identified as 'Port St. Lucie MSA.'"