Originally Posted by J. Will
In almost every major metro area, there is a lower percentage of the metro population living in the "core city" than there was 30 years ago. Even in the cities that were "in decline" 30 years ago, there were always nice/safe areas in which younger couples lived.
Whether or not there's a higher percentage of people living in the suburbs, there's a difference in people's sentiments towards the city when there's crackheads all over the place, terrible crime, and people are fleeing as fast as they can.
The fact is, there are more places that are considered nice/safe in many cities, particularly on the east coast of the US, now compared to 30 years ago. And the novelty of living in a brand-spanking new house in an idyllic neighborhood for relatively cheap only a few minutes outside of the city is gone. The cities will probably decline again at some point, but you can't say that every generation is the same. Many people are going to leave the cities when they have families, but I don't think it's going to be what it was like from the 60s-90s again in the near future.