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American Suburbs Swell Again as a New Generation Escapes the City

Posted by Editor on July 5, 2019
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Many U.S. suburbs are again facing growing pains, with not enough schools, too much traffic for two-lane roads, and the loss of scenic farmland to housing tracts.

Apex, North Carolina, and suburbs like it now account for 14 of the 15 fastest-growing U.S. cities with populations of more than 50,000, according to U.S. Census data.

Millennials priced out of the big cities increasingly are moving to suburbs like Lakewood Ranch, Florida; Frisco, Texas; Nolensville, Tennessee; and Scottdale, Georgia.

“The back-to-the-city trend has reversed,” said Brookings Institution demographer William Frey. The difference from the postwar boom of the 1950s and 1960s is that growth so far has been limited to suburbs with good weather and good jobs, largely in the Sunbelt – where Frey said they are growing more than twice as fast as their neighboring cities.

The Lighter Side

In the early 2010s, after the housing crisis, average growth rates in cities with populations greater than 250,000 outpaced the suburbs, but Census data show that over the past five years, the average annual growth in America’s big cities has slowed by 40%, to 0.69%.

Meanwhile, in the exurbs, or outlying counties of large metro areas, single-family construction permits climbed 1.6% in the first quarter of 2019 from the same period in 2018. However, the National Association of Home Builders notes that single-family construction declined in the most-populated metro areas

Source: Wall Street Journal (07/01/19) Bauerlein, Valerie

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