Americans’ Shift To The Suburbs Sped Up Last Year

The Following in an excerpt from an article titled “Americans’ Shift To The Suburbs Sped Up Last Year” from March, 2017. In this article, Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at, described how the suburbanization of America is continuing and outpacing the growth of many cities. This is obviously contrary to what many believe about the growth of cities and urbanization.

Furthermore, Kolko views this as being an ongoing trend rather than anomy. In fact, Kolko states that population growth in big cities slowed for the fifth-straight year, while population growth accelerated in the more sprawling counties that surround them. If this is true, planners and politicians need to be aware that suburban communities may not be a dying breed and more emphasis may need to be placed on them going forward.

The link to the full article on FiveThirtyEight can be found at the end of this post.

The suburbanization of America marches on. Population growth in big cities slowed for the fifth-straight year in 2016,1 according to new census data, while population growth accelerated in the more sprawling counties that surround them.
The Census Bureau on Thursday released population estimates for every one of the more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. I grouped those counties into six categories: urban centers of large metropolitan areas; their densely populated suburbs; their lightly populated suburbs; midsize metros; smaller metro areas; and rural counties, which are outside metro areas entirely.2
The fastest growth was in those lower-density suburbs. Those counties grew by 1.3 percent in 2016, the fastest rate since 2008, when the housing bust put an end to rapid homebuilding in these areas. In the South and West, growth in large-metro lower-density suburbs topped 2 percent in 2016, led by counties such as Kendall and Comal north of San Antonio; Hays near Austin; and Forsyth, north of Atlanta.
Those figures run counter to the “urban revival” narrative that has been widely discussed in recent years. That revival is real, but it has mostly been for rich, educated people in particular hyperurban neighborhoods rather than a broad-based return to city living. To be sure, college-educated millennials — at least those without school-age kids — took to the city, and better-paying jobs have shifted there, too. But other groups — older adults, families with kids in school, and people of all ages with lower incomes — either can’t afford or don’t want an urban address.

Worst off were rural areas. Counties outside of metropolitan areas, where 14 percent of Americans live, shrank slightly (-0.04 percent) in 2016, the sixth-straight year of population decline. Nonmetro areas in the Northeast and Midwest had larger losses. Nonmetro America has the slowest job and wage growth, as well.

The broad national trends hide some dramatic and surprising swings in local population. Here are a few of the places that are on their way up or down in the 2016 population data:

Please click the source link below for the rest of the article.