The State of Metropolitan America
May 8, 2010 10:51 PM   Subscribe

The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program (led by Bruce Katz) has just released its The State of Metropolitan America report (full pdf). The report builds on eight years of the Census Bureau’s American Community Surveys; and includes a spiffy State of Metropolitan America Indicator Map of changes in population indicators at state, metropolitan, and suburban levels.160;160; Some interesting findings:
  • America's suburbs are now more likely to be home to minorities, the poor and a rapidly growing older population as many younger, educated whites move to cities for jobs and shorter commutes.
  • Two-thirds of primary cities in large metropolitan areas grew from 2000 to 2008
  • For the first time in several decades, the population is growing at a faster rate than households, due to delays in marriage, divorce and births as well as longer life spans. People living alone and nonmarried couple families are among the fastest-growing in suburbs.

For additional finding on
  • Population and Migration
    • Two-thirds of primary cities in large metropolitan areas grew from 2000 to 2008
  • Race and Ethnicity

    • For the first time, a majority of all racial/ethnic groups in large metro areas live in the suburbs.
  • Immigration

    • Ten states, led by Arizona, surpass the nation in a "cultural generation gap" in which the senior populations are disproportionately white and children are mostly minority.
  • Age

  • Households and Families

  • Educational Attainment

  • Work

  • Poverty and Income

    • The suburban poor grew by 25 percent between 1999 and 2008 — five times the growth rate of the poor in cities. City residents are more likely to live in "deep" poverty, while a higher share of suburban residents have incomes just below the poverty line.
  • Commuting

  • Policy Implications

posted by stratastar (12 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man, thanks for this. I live for this stuff.

To fill this out with some Canadian flavour a recent report from Statistics Canada made a huge splash up here a while ago reporting that Canada will be 1/3 non-white/non-aboriginal by 2031.

Current demographics of toronto support the situation outlined in this post. The Greater Toronto Area is almost 50/50 white/non white already, and is projected to be 63% non white by 2031. On the other hand, the downtown core of toronto (about a million people) is one of the most white regions in the GTA at 70%, while certain suburbs such as Scarborough are already in the 60% region of non white.

From what I've seen, trends will tend to amplify this situation, with white people only maintaining a majority in the downtown core.

It's pretty neat stuff.
posted by Alex404 at 1:37 AM on May 9, 2010

Sigh, my fair city is still has the oldest population of any metro area that's not a retirement community in Florida. We've even started getting more in migration than out migration but so many of our residents are leaving in boxes that we're still losing population.
posted by octothorpe at 6:31 AM on May 9, 2010

Many cities would die to have Pittsburgh's demographic and economic trends.

Ok, losing population to death is a bad sign, but gaining through migration means that the economic base is strong enough to support new active workers... I mean you DO NOT want to see the out migration rates of Pittsburgh in the 80's and 90's...

Summary: yay Pittsburgh!

/end a year of geeking out on and writing economic and demographic analyses about Pittsburgh.
posted by stratastar at 8:20 AM on May 9, 2010

Vanilla City and it's Chocolate Suburbs: Gainin' on ya!
posted by symbioid at 8:32 AM on May 9, 2010

For the life of me, I just don't grok this "oh noes, white minority!" fear.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:19 AM on May 9, 2010

At least urban slum areas, one can take a bus to work and go shopping.

But if you're trapped in a suburban slum with no car, no public transportation, no sidewalks and nothing whatsoever within walking distance...

Let's not forget the shitty architecture was put on top of all that formerly viable agricultural land.

Suburbia and it's entire lifestyle was made possible by cheap, abundant oil. And that party's over. Too bad we don't have a plan "B".
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:24 AM on May 9, 2010

When they say one in eight Americans are immigrants, what do they mean "American"?
posted by Gregamell at 10:33 AM on May 9, 2010

Non-natively born Americans.
posted by stratastar at 10:41 AM on May 9, 2010

I get that part, I'm just asking if "American" is equivalent to "citizen"
posted by Gregamell at 11:28 AM on May 9, 2010

ohoh, sorry about the knee jerk snark. The surveys are posed to all U.S. residents, and on page 7 they ask your country of birth and country of citizenship.

For the Decennial Census, again the Census Bureau is mandated by the constituion to count residents not citizens.
posted by stratastar at 12:55 PM on May 9, 2010

ahem the ACS surveys are given to a sample of residents... but you get what I'm saying.
posted by stratastar at 12:56 PM on May 9, 2010

I guess I'm the outlier here, but I love the suburbs (at least, those found in North Texas). My house costs $1,100 to rent, and I can choose from three Internet and five video providers*, there's a back yard for the kid and cat, I have two guaranteed parking spaces--the driveway--and plenty more on-street, shopping--beyond a corner store or an overpriced specialty grocery--is five minutes away by car (10 if you walk it, which is possible though I've not done it more than once), good schools, and a ~25 minute commute. Yes, the last one would be a killer for most people, and when I get back on a "normal" schedule I'll look into taking the train.

* Every downtown housing unit I've seen seems to have a single provider of video and Internet, either an overloaded cable node or some reseller with a monopoly that's protected even from the scourge of the satellite dish (I like satellite, had it for 10 years, FiOS rocks). Maybe it's a function of How We Do It Here(tm)...
posted by fireoyster at 3:12 PM on May 9, 2010

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