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.

The results for the 50 metropolitan areas (New Orleans excluded due to Hurricane Katrina and Tucson unexpectedly failed to reach 1,000,000 population) indicate that historical core municipalities accounted for 9 percent of metropolitan area growth between 2000 and 2010, compared to 15 percent in the 1990-2000 period. Overall, suburban areas captured 91 percent of metropolitan area population growth between 2000 and 2010, compared to 85 percent between 1990 and 2000.

Total population growth in the historical core municipalities was 1.4 million, nearly all of it in municipalities with a largely suburban form (such as Phoenix, San Antonio and Charlotte). This compares to an increase of 2.9 million during the 1990s.

Suburban areas (areas in metropolitan areas outside the historical core municipalities) grew 15.0 million, down from 16.1million.

Overall, the major metropolitan areas added 14 percent to their populations in the 2000s, down from 19 percent growth in the 1990s. The historical core municipalities grew 4 percent, compared to the 1990s rate of 7 percent. Suburban areas grew 18 percent, compared to the 1990s rate of 26 percent (all data unweighted).