The big got bigger last year...at least as far as cities are concerned. New data released by the US Census Bureau today shows, in 2008, that cities reversed the trend of losing population to suburbs. Cities grew at a faster rate overall, and between 2007 and 2008, cities that had a recent history of some growth, grew faster. Cities that had seen populations decline, either slowed that declined or began to grow. The Wall Street Journal's Conor Dougherty reports that this change is, in large part, the result of the recession:
The Census data underscored how the recession and the real-estate slump have curbed migration, especially to suburbs and outer areas known as exurbs.
The central-city population in U.S. metropolitan areas with more than one million people (excluding New Orleans, where recent growth rates reflect residents returning to the city following Hurricane Katrina) grew at an annual rate of 0.97% between July 2007 and July 2008, according to Mr. Frey's [William Frey, of Brookings] analysis. 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.
"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," Mr. Frey said. "Cities are big enough and diverse enough that they are able to survive these ups and downs in the economy a lot better."
Read the full article here, and look at city-by-city data on the below interactive chart (click here to use).
07-01-2009 8:45 AM