The Reshaping of America, cont'd

More

The economic crisis appears to be causing a slight but noticeable shift from the suburbs to the cities, according to an analysis of recent Census data by Brookings demographer William Frey, reported in the Wall Street Journal.

"The central-city population in U.S. metropolitan areas with more than one million people (excluding New Orleans ...) grew at an annual rate of 0.97% between July 2007 and July 2008 ...That compared with a growth rate of 0.90% in 2006-2007, and growth rates around 0.5% in the years between 2002 and 2005, when the robust real-estate market led to new jobs and new housing developments outside the cities, where open land is more plentiful ... Population growth in the cities has translated to slower growth in the suburbs. U.S. suburbs in metro areas greater than 1 million people grew at a 1.11% annual rate in 2007-2008, the same as a year earlier and down from growth rates between 1.29% and 1.48% between 2002 and 2005."

The combined effects of the recession, job loss, and the housing crisis have made it more difficult for many to sell their houses, in effect locking them in place and slowing rates of residential and geographic mobility. Frey points out that:

"This shows cities were reviving at the end of this decade, and they are also surviving a recession that has been a lot harsher for other parts of our landscape ...Cities are big enough and diverse enough that they are able to survive these ups and downs in the economy a lot better."

And this is especially true of the biggest and most diverse cities, like New York and Chicago, which are hubs of large mega-regions, as well as magnets like greater D.C. and Silicon Valley which continue to draw in highly skilled and ambitious people from the U.S. and the world. Large Rustbelt cities, like Detroit, continue to lose people, and rates of growth in housing-driven Sunbelt cities have slowed considerably.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Richard Florida is Senior Editor at The Atlantic and Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto. See his most recent writing at The Atlantic Cities. More

Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative Class, Who's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He is founder of the Creative Class Group.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In