More Americans are moving to cities in the wake of the slight uptick in the economy in recent years, reversing the decades-long trend of settling in the suburbs. New Census Bureau data shows that the American city is experiencing something of a renaissance, driven primarily by migration into the center of the nation’s metropolitan areas.
According to the Census Bureau data, 2013 saw 2.3 million more people living in metro areas than in 2012, with 269.9 million people now living in cities and their surrounding areas. Between 2012 and 2013, only 92 out of the country's 381 metropolitan areas lost population. The shift in population to America’s metro areas has been increasing since 2010, when the economic recovery began picking up.
The trend in city living is driven primarily by two groups: young professionals and Baby Boomers, who are retiring and moving back to the cities they left when they started families. William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, told USA Today. Frey described the trend as a “180 degree” switch from the exodus to the suburbs over the last decade.
In all but five of the fastest-growing metro areas, the largest contributor to growth was net migration and not higher birth rates, according to the Census Bureau. Among the cities with the highest “natural increase” are Washington, D.C., and Provo-Orem, Utah, which was recently voted the city with the highest rate of well-being in the nation.