Census 2010 Home Page

A Tale of 273 Cities

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. 

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Since 1790, 273 cities have made an appearance on the list of the nation’s 100 largest places.  read more »

More Census 2010 Features

Is the Census Bureau On Track For Another Estimating Fiasco?

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When the 2010 Census results were released, a number of big cities had populations that were very off from what would have been expected based on the Census Bureau’s previous annual estimates of the population – sometimes grossly so.  Some of these were related to cities that had challenged the estimates and had adjustments made in their favor, such as Cincinnati and St. Louis. Given that the Census Bureau seems to have approved every challenge, bogus challenges were all but encouraged.  Still, there were significant variances in cities that didn’t challenge the Census, such as Chicago and Phoenix.   read more »

Aging America: The Cities That Are Graying The Fastest

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Notwithstanding plastic surgery, health improvements and other modern biological enhancements, we are all getting older, and the country is too. Today roughly 18.5% of the U.S. population is over 60, compared to 16.3% a decade ago; by 2020 that percentage is expected to rise to 22.2%, and by 2050 to a full 25%.

Yet the graying of America is not uniform across the country — some places are considerably older than others. The oldest metropolitan areas, according to an analysis of the 2010 census by demographer Wendell Cox, have twice as high a concentration of residents over the age of 60 as the youngest. In these areas, it’s already 2020, and some may get to 2050 aging levels decades early.  read more »

Core City Growth Mainly Below Poverty Line

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Over the toughest economic decade since Great Depression, the nation's core cities continued to gain more than their share the below poverty line population in the 51 metropolitan areas with more than 1,000,000 population. Between 2000 and 2010, core cities (Note 1) attracted approximately 10 percent of the increase in population (Note 2) while adding 25 percent of the increase in people under the poverty line (Figure 1).  read more »

Misreferencing Misoverestimated Population

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I know the media confusion story of the past week is all about the momentary misreporting that got the story of the Supreme Court ruling backwards. Yet there was some real misoverestimating across the nation over the latest census numbers that were released recently on municipal population estimates for 2011.  read more »

Staying the Same: Urbanization in America

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The recent release of the 2010 US census data on urban areas (Note 1) shows that Americans continue to prefer their lower density lifestyles, with both suburbs and exurbs (Note 2) growing more rapidly than the historic core municipalities.  This may appear to be at odds with the recent Census Bureau 2011 metropolitan area population estimates, which were widely mischaracterized as indicating exurban (and suburban) losses and historical core municipality gains.  read more »

Population Change 2010-2011: Interesting Differences

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The recently released estimates of population change and the natural increase and migration components of that change for 2010-2011 contain a few surprises, as well as much what has come to be expected.  What we population freaks have been awaiting are estimates of the components of change for the whole 2000-2010 decade, but these are still being adjusted, in part because of the tremendous complexity of migration and immigration and, yes, estimating  just who is in the country!  read more »

The Shifting Landscape of Diversity in Metro America

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Census 2010 gave the detail behind what we’ve known for some time: America is becoming an increasingly diverse place.  Not only has the number of minorities simply grown nationally, but the distribution of them among America’s cities has changed. Not all of the growth was evenly spread or did it occur only in traditional ethnic hubs or large, historically diverse cities.  read more »

New Geography's Most Popular Stories of 2011

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As our third full calendar year at New Geography comes to a close, here’s a look at the ten most popular stories in 2011. It’s been another year of steady growth in readership and reach for the site.  Thanks for reading and happy new year.  read more »

Is Suburbia Doomed? Not So Fast.

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This past weekend the New York Times devoted two big op-eds to the decline of the suburb. In one, new urban theorist Chris Leinberger said that Americans were increasingly abandoning “fringe suburbs” for dense, transit-oriented urban areas.  read more »

More Americans Move to Detached Houses

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In defiance of the conventional wisdom in the national media and among most planning professionals, Americans continue not only to prefer, but to move into single family detached houses. Data from the 2010 American Community Survey indicates that such housing attracted 79.2% of the new households in the 51 major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 population) over the past decade.  read more »

Major Metropolitan Commuting Trends: 2000-2010

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As we indicated in the last article, solo automobile commuting reached an all time record in the United States in 2010, increasing by 7.8 million commuters. At the same time, huge losses were sustained by carpooling, while the largest gain was in working at home, which includes telecommuting. Transit and bicycling also added commuters.  This continues many of the basic trends toward more personalized employment access that we have seen since 1960.  read more »

A Century of Change in the US Black Population, 1910 to 2010

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2010 was the 100th anniversary of the start of the “Great Migration” of the “Negro” population to northern cities from the mainly rural South. The midway point occurred in 1960 when black urban population was beginning to peak.     read more »

Census 2010 Blog

Despite Exhortations, San Antonio Suburbanizes

"Despite years of effort by city leaders to revitalize San Antonio’s downtown neighborhoods, thousands of residents flocked to sprawling subdivisions on the far North and West sides in the past decade, while the inner city lost residents."  read more »

Final Census Results: Core Cities Do Worse in 2000s than 1990s

Based upon complete census counts for 2010, historical core municipalities of the nation’s major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 population) captured a smaller share of growth in the 2000s than in the 1990s.  read more »

Chicago’s Unique Population Loss of the 1 Million Plus Cities

There are only 9 cities in the United States with populations over 1 million. The list includes New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia, Chicago, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. With this afternoon’s release of Census 2010 numbers for New York City, the final 2010 data is in.  read more »

New York City Population Growth Comes Up Short

Just released census counts for 2010 show the New York metropolitan area historical core municipality, the city of New York, to have gained in population from 8,009,000 in 2000 to 8,175,000 in 2010, an increase of 2.1 percent. This is the highest census count ever achieved by the city of New York.  read more »

Charlotte Continues Strong Growth

According to US Census Bureau data, the Charlotte (NC-SC) metropolitan area grew 32 percent, from 1,330,000 to 1,758,000 between 2000 and 2010. The historical core municipality, the city of Charlotte grew from a 2000 base of 568,000 to 731,000 in 2010 (an increase of 29 percent). The city of Charlotte is largely of a post-World War II suburban form. The city of Charlotte attracted 38 percent of the metropolitan area growth.  read more »

Slow Growth in Providence: City Grows

The Providence (RI) metropolitan area was one of the slowest growing in the 2000 to 2010 period, according to counts just released by the Census Bureau. Providence grew 1.1 percent, from 1,583,000 to 1,601,000. The historical core municipality, the city of Providence gained 2.5 percent, from 174,000 to 178,000 and grew faster than the suburbs, like neighboring Boston. The city of Providence reached its population peak in 1940, at 254,000.  read more »

Declining Detroit

The historical core municipality of the Detroit metropolitan area, the city of Detroit, continued its steep population decline between 2000 and 2010. The new census count indicates that the city dropped to 733,000 residents, from 951,000 in 2000. This drop of 25 percent was the largest in any census period since 1950, when the city peaked at a population of 1,850,000. Even so, the percentage decline from 1950 of 61.4 percent remains less than that of city of St.  read more »

Boston: The Outlier

The new 2010 census results for the Boston metropolitan area show the historical core municipality, the city of Boston, increasing its population at a greater rate than that of its suburbs. Thus far, Boston is the only historical core municipality with essentially the same boundaries as in 1950 that has experienced a growth rate greater than the suburbs in the 2000 to 2010 period. Boston grew from 589,000 to 617,000, an increase of 4.8 percent.  read more »

Cincinnati: Suburban Counties Gain, Core Losses

The historical core municipality of the Cincinnati metropolitan area, the city of  Cincinnati, continued its population loss string stretching back to the 1970 census and dropped below 300,000 population for the first time since the 1890 census.  The city peaked at 504,000 in 1950.  read more »

Mixed Performance in Suburbanized Core Cities of Tennessee and Kentucky

New 2010 census data for the highly suburbanized historic core municipalities of the major metropolitan areas of Tennessee and Kentucky indicates mixed results. The historic core municipality of Louisville (Louisville/Jefferson County) captured just under one half of the metropolitan area’s growth, yet grew more slowly than the historic core municipality of Nashville/Davidson County, which captured 20 percent of the metropolitan area’s growth. The historic core municipality of Memphis, which annexed substantial suburban areas, experienced a loss.  read more »

Anchorage Spreading Out

Alaska’s largest metropolitan area, Anchorage, is spreading out like its major metropolitan area counterparts in the Lower 48. The historical core municipality of Anchorage grew from 262,000 in 2000 to 291,000 in 2010, a growth rate of 12 percent. Anchorage is largely post-World War II suburban.  read more »

Florida Metropolitan Areas Disperse; City of Miami Continues to Densify

Miami: The Miami metropolitan area grew 11 percent between 2000 and 2010 according to the recently released census count. The population growth was from 5,008,000 in 2000 to 5,575,000 in 2010. This growth, only modestly above the national average, caused Miami to slip behind Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, to become the nation’s 7th largest metropolitan area. The Miami metropolitan area was expanded after the 2000 census to include not only the core county of Miami-Dade, but also Broward (Fort Lauderdale) and Palm Beach (West Palm Beach) counties.  read more »

Twin Cities Growth All in Suburbs

The historical core municipalities of the Twin Cities area, Minneapolis and St. Paul experienced modest population declines between 2000 and 2010, according to the latest census count. All of the growth in the metropolitan area was in the suburbs.  read more »

Minneapolis, St. Paul & Memphis Core City Losses

Census results released today show again show losses, though small, in historical core municipalities. The city of Minneapolis lost 40 people, between 2000 and 2010, falling from 382,618 to 382,578. The city of St. Paul, also a historical core city of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area fell from 287,000 to 285,000.

The historical core municipality of Memphis dropped from 650,000 to 647,000, despite the fact that much of the city is of a post-World War II suburban form.