Small Cities

America is Quietly Reinventing Itself

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The future shape of post-Covid America is beginning to emerge. As demographic trends and surveys indicate, the pandemic has helped accelerate large, epochal changes in the nation’s geography.  read more »

All Major Metropolitan Area Growth Outside Urban Core: Latest Year

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The latest City Sector Model analysis of major metropolitan areas shows that dispersion accelerated in 2020 during the period covered by the American community survey 2020 five- year survey (2016 to 2020). The American Community Survey collects a five year sample that covers virtually all geographies in the United States. The new 2016-2020 sample has an “middle year” of 2018.

The City Sector Model  read more »

Net Domestic Migration: Shift to From Larger Metros to Smaller Areas Accelerates

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Late in the last decade, domestic migrants began moving to smaller metropolitan areas and micropolitan areas (CBSA’s) as domestic migration to the larger metropolitan areas fell. The trend was covered in “Domestic Migration to Dispersion Accelerates (Even Before Covid).” The trend has continued, especially in the year ended July 1, 2021, according to Census Bureau estimates.  read more »

The Biggest Cities Are Past Their Prime

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As the centers of media and political discourse, large cities, notably New York, have a unique ability to promote themselves, asserting that dense, core urban areas own the future. Yet in reality, even during good times, and well before the pandemic, Americans have been headed, in increasing numbers, to suburbs, exurbs and to smaller cities.  read more »

Census 2021 Estimates: Increased Dispersion

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According to the US Census Bureau, the year ended July 1, 2021, grew the slowest of any year on record. The driving factor was the Covid-19 pandemic, which increased morbidity and substantially reduced the natural increase of population (births minus deaths).  read more »

Flyover Country Needs to Keep Our Biggest Edge: Housing Affordability

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If there’s one location advantage for the heartland that’s become clear during the last several years, it’s the edge we enjoy over the coasts in housing affordability.  read more »

The Next American Cities, a New Report from Urban Reform Insitute

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The urban form has shifted throughout history. This has been critical to its success. Today we are on the cusp of another transition, ushered in by new technologies and changing demographics, and accelerated by a devastating pandemic. Although these forces affect all geographies, the best chance of success and growth lies in what we define as The Next American City.  read more »

New U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates: A New World?

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The United States Census Bureau released its July 1, 2021 population and annual net domestic migration estimates for states and the District of Columbia on Tuesday, December 21. This article highlights trends from that release.  read more »

A Real Rural Future

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One of the far-too-often repeated statements made by urban, coastal elites is that one’s future cannot be found in the countryside. These city-centered Americans often believe that economic growth, jobs, and the nation’s future can only be found in big cities and that rural America remains a dead-end, brain-drained world with minimal opportunity.  read more »

Only Interior Counties, San Benito, Riverside and Monterey Grow in 2021

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Preliminary county population estimates just released by the state Department of Finance show that California’s population decline is persisting and accelerating. The state lost 173,000 residents over the year ending July 1, 2021. The Department of Finance reports that there were 56,500 Covid related deaths over the same period, which would account for about one-third of the population loss. Net domestic migration dropped to the lowest rate in a decade, down 277,000 --- more than the population of Marin County.  read more »