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The Changing Face of Suburban America

As the nation becomes more racially diverse, so too do the suburbs.
July 31, 2015, 8am PDT | Emily Calhoun
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A Community of Brick Suburban Homes on a cloudy summer day
Anne Kitzman

In his new book, William H. Frey maps out a shifting American identity, where the traditional sameness of the suburbs is replaced by a growing diversity of families of color. In this post, adapted from his book, Diversity Explosion, he zeros in on the movement of white residents of the 100 largest metropolitan areas. Driven by economic changes—rising costs of living in coastal cities and economic declines in northern industrial towns—whites are moving to cheaper and more prosperous cities and suburbs of the South, such as the Sun Belt areas in and around Austin and Phoenix.

Suburbs across the country reflect the country’s stagnant white population growth and a growing population of child-bearing minorities.  According to Frey, "Suburbs will continue to grow in the future, but increasingly as a result of the rapid growth of the nation’s growing young minority families."

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Published on Thursday, July 23, 2015 in Brookings: The Avenue
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