Lower-Density Suburbs Experienced Fastest Growth In 2016

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March 28, 2017

Not everyone is moving to a major city.

FiveThirtyEight examined newly released data from the Census Bureau and found that lower-density suburbs grew by 1.3 percent last year, which was faster than the growth rates of urban centers of large metropolitan areas, dense suburbs, mid-size metros, and rural areas.

Urban centers grew only 0.5 percent in 2016. While college-educated Millennials like city living, other groups are looking elsewhere.

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.

The report also said that rural areas had a negative change in population, that Sun Belt cities are quickly expanding, and that Rust Belt cities are either growing slowly or shrinking.

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