A Big Demographic Shift Is Underway in the US

As cities fill up, suburbs are once again the fastest-growing areas
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2019 5:48 PM CDT
A Big Demographic Shift Is Underway in the US
Stock image.   (Getty/Faina Gurevich)

The broad strokes of American demographics: People left big cities in droves for the suburbs after World War II, but then the 'burbs grew out of fashion as people, especially young ones, flocked back to urban areas in more recent years. Now, as the Wall Street Journal points out, the suburbs are hot again. Specifically, 14 of the 15 fastest-growing American cities with at least 50,000 people are suburbs, per new census figures. “The back-to-the-city trend has reversed,” William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, tells the Journal. The trend, however, comes with problems. A lot of these booming suburbs are suffering serious growing pains trying to accommodate all the newcomers—traffic and parking problems, busy two-lane roads, the need for staggered school schedules, etc.

“It’s great that people want to move here,” says Lindsay Mahaffey, 36, a resident of the Raleigh suburb of Apex, North Carolina. “We’ve just got to do it in a way that eases the frustration.” The story focuses in particular on the challenges of Apex, where Mahaffey and her husband bought a five-bedroom home next to a horse farm for $782,000 a few years ago. (The horse farm has since been sold to a developer who plans to put in a subdivision.) The town had a population of 57,000 in 2010 and is on track to exceed 100,000 in a decade, with thousands of new homes going up. Apex is similar to other hot suburbs in that it is outside a healthy city (Raleigh) and thus has jobs, plus good weather to boot. Click to read the full story. (President Trump tweeted Tuesday that people are leaving New York "like never before.")

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