At the beginning of the century, the population in suburbs grew faster than the cities they surrounded. Now, it's reversed. The Pew Charitable Trust's American Cities Project analyzed the 2011 Census population estimates with 2010 Census data and created an interactive map that shows how in 13 of the 30 major metropolitan areas in the country cities have outpaced the growth of their 'burbs. To compare, in the ten years before, only Boston showed the same growth pattern.
Here's how the cities breakdown, but for the full interactive experience, click over to the Pew American Cities Project.
Seven cities grew at the same rate as their suburbs, such as Chicago and Portland, and five grew slower. Another five cities lost population. But the fact that the fastest growing cities are all across the country--from Tampa to Seattle--shows that city growth is a "phenomenon that might have some legs," project director Larry Eichel told the Wire. "This idea of the city as yesterday's place doesn't hold anymore."
What does it mean for the way cities are? It's hard to tell, Eichel said. Demographic data isn't out yet for most areas. If it's wealthier people moving into the city, then the city will have more money to improve infrastructure. If it's poorer people, then there will be more demand for social services and money will go to that. But one thing's for sure: People moving to the cities seem willing to live in smaller, closer spaces, Eichel said, and a trend toward city living may be a trend toward living green.
"[The data] is promising in terms of sustainability and energy," he said. "There's more opportunity for energy conservation."
Of course, New Yorkers know small apartments are less about being green and more about circumstance. Good luck Denver, Tampa, and Atlanta. Let us know how it goes.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.