An Urban Renaissance: Moving Away from Suburbs
Since automobiles enabled people to commute to work and live further from cities, suburban development has characterized most of the twentieth century in the United States.. Even as recently as the previous decade, people were choosing to live in suburbs by a three to one margin. Census data now demonstrates a shift in this pattern.
A Los Angeles Times article identified a current “urban renaissance” as census data demonstrates that cities are now growing faster than suburbs. Experts attribute the shift toward cities to the recession, and in particular to the demographic choices and economic constraints recently placed on young adults. Young professionals are choosing to live in cities, while others who are financially constrained, like recent college graduates without jobs, are being forced to live with parents rather than purchase new homes.
The result has been cities like Chicago, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, which experienced population declines from 2000 to 2010, have recently experience growth. In general, a Brookings Institute demographer found that “the increase in the cities’ population went hand in hand with slower growth in suburbs.”