As this article in New Geography reports.
Data released by the federal government last week provided additional evidence that the suburbs continue to dominate metropolitan area population growth and that the biggest cities are capturing less of the growth than they did at the beginning of the decade. The new 2015 municipality population estimates from the Census Bureau indicated that virtually all of the 15 fastest growing municipalities with more than 50,000 residents were suburbs, and five were in Texas (See Census Bureau poster, Figure 1). Further, in the major metropolitan areas (more than 1,000,000 population), nearly 75 percent of the population growth was in outside the historical core municipalities (the suburbs as defined by municipal jurisdiction).
But that’s only half of the story. The suburbs and exurbs also continue to dominate employment and employment growth, according to the annual County Business Patterns data. County Business Patterns is a particularly effective measure of genuine job location preferences (both employers and employees), since it largely provides data for private employment.
Analysis of the data using the City Sector Model indicates that both over the longer and shorter term, the outer reaches of US metropolitan have been more than holding their own in employment growth.
The City Sector Model
The City Sector Model classifies small areas (zip codes) of major metropolitan areas by their urban function (lifestyle). The City Sector Model includes five sectors (Figure 2). The first two are labelled as “urban core,” replicating the urban densities and travel patterns of pre-World War II US cities, although these likely fall short of densities and travel behavior changes sought by contemporary urban planning (such as Plan Bay Area). There are two suburban sectors, earlier and later. The fifth sector is the exurbs, outside the built-up urban area. The principle purpose of the City Sector Model is to categorize metropolitan neighborhoods based on their intensity of urbanization, regardless of whether they are located within or outside the boundaries of the historical core municipality (Note).