Cities grow more than suburbs, first time in 100 years
'I will never live in the suburbs,' says young Denver resident who grew up in the suburb of Littleton, Colo., an attitude apparently shared by many of her peers
WASHINGTON — For the first time in a century, most of America's largest cities are growing at a faster rate than their surrounding suburbs as young adults seeking a foothold in the weak job market shun home-buying and stay put in bustling urban centers.
New Orleans, which saw its population shrivel in the mid-2000s due to Hurricane Katrina, saw the biggest rebound in city growth relative to suburbs in the last year, 3.7 percent vs. 0.6 percent. Atlanta, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, N.C., also showed wide disparities in city growth compared to suburbs.
Other big cities showing faster growth compared to the previous decade include Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Seattle.
"The recession hit suburban markets hard. What we're seeing now is young adults moving out from their parents' homes and starting to find jobs," Shepard said. "There's a bigger focus on building residences near transportation hubs, such as a train or subway station, because fewer people want to travel by car for an hour and a half for work anymore."
In recent years, the share of 16- to 39-year-olds with driver's licenses has declined markedly. The suburb also is no longer a refuge from poverty, now surpassing cities in numbers of poor people.