Suburbs Rule

This is a great article from New Geography showing how more people are moving to suburban areas—including Sacramento—than to urban ones.

An excerpt.

A review of the most recent US Census Bureau population estimates and components of population change indicates that US residents are overwhelmingly moving to the most suburban cities (metropolitan areas). We previously rated the 53 major metropolitan areas (over 1 million population) using the City Sector Model (see America’s Most Suburbanized Cities), which classifies small areas (zip codes) into five urban core and suburban categories based on factors such as density, transit use, and age of housing stock.(Figure 1). This article examines net domestic migration based on the extent of suburbanization identified in the previous article.

In this decade to date, the 30 most suburbanized cities gained 2.3 million net domestic migrants. These cities are from 94.8 percent to 100.0 percent suburban. The 23 cities that are less suburban had, overall, loss of 2.1 million net domestic migrants. Overall, the 53 major metropolitan areas gained 200,000 net domestic migrants.

The First Quintile: 100 Percent Suburban Cities

A total ten cities are rated 100 percent suburban this means that they have virtually no population densities high enough to qualify for urban cores in any zip code. This indicates that virtually all of their development has occurred during the post-World War II period and that any historical high density zip codes have experienced a decline to below 7500 persons per square mile. The most suburban of these cities is determined by the percentage of an urban population, since there is a 10 way tie for 100 percent suburbanization. This article examines net domestic migration trends in relation to the suburban character of the major metropolitan areas. Net domestic migration counts the number of US residents who move between counties (which are also the building block components of metropolitan areas)….

The Second Quintile

The second quintile includes cities that are from 97.6 percent suburban to 99.8 percent suburban. [Sacramento, at 98.3% suburban, is in this quintile]

With 11 cities, the second quintile attracted more net domestic migrants than the top quintile (1,023,000), which has only 10 cities. The per city average was somewhat lower than in the first quintile, at 93,000. Five of the cities in the second quintile added more than 100,000 net domestic migrants, including Dallas – Fort Worth at 304,000 (the highest of any city), Houston at 283,000 Austin at 192,000, Atlanta at 153,000 in Nashville at 104,000. Three cities in the quintile lost net domestic migrants, including San Jose, Virginia Beach – Norfolk and Memphis.

The net domestic migration in second quintile averaged 2.5 percent of the 2010 population. Austin had the highest net domestic migration gain of any city at 11.2 percent. Nashville gained 6.2 percent.

Like the first quintile, all cities in the second quintile are in the South or West.

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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