Suburbs Rule!, Still

Still growing faster than urban areas—because the suburbs are where most people want to live—as reported by New Geography, complete with the charts and graphs for which they are renowned.

An excerpt.

“The suburbs and exurbs continue to dominate population growth in the nation’s 53 major metropolitan areas, according to a City Sector Model (Note 1 and Figure 9) analysis. We traced growth between the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey 5-year data, from samples taken over the period of 2014 to 2018. The middle-year was 2016.

“Population Growth by City Sector

“In the years since the 2010 Census, the ACS 2014/2018 estimates indicate that the suburbs and exurbs attracted 91.8% of major metropolitan area population growth, while 8.2% of the growth was in the urban core.

“Among the five city sectors (defined in Figure 9), the three suburban and exurban sectors each had considerably more population growth than either of the two urban core sectors. Exurban areas, added more than twice the population as the two urban core sector combined (18.3% versus 8.2%). The Later Suburbs sector (generally outer suburbs) accounted for nearly one-half of the population growth (48.2%), while the Earlier Suburbs (generally inner suburbs) had 25.5% of the growth.

“As a result, the share of the population living in suburban and exurban areas increased to 85.6% in 2014/2018, (Figure 2) up from the 85.3% in the 2010 Census.

“Comparing Growth Rates with 2010 Population Shares by Sector

“The distribution of population growth over the period illustrates the continuing, if unheralded shift of population from the urban core to the suburbs and exurbs. Both urban core sectors enjoyed proportional growth less than their 2010 share of the population, while each of the suburban and exurban sectors gained at a rate more than their 2010 share.

“The Urban Core: Central Business District, which garners much fawning media attention grew 1.2%, slightly slower than its 1.3% of the 2010 population. The Urban Core: Inner Ring accounted for 7.0% of the growth, little more than one-half of its 2010 population share. The Earlier Suburbs had 25.9% of the growth, about 40% less than its2010 population share of 41.9%. The Later Suburbs added 48.2% to their population, nearly 80% greater than their 2010 population share of 26.9%. The Exurbs added 18.1% in population, somewhat above their 16.4% 2010 population share.” Retrieved January 15, 2020 from



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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