Jonathan Weber writes that "Most demographic and market indicators suggest that growth and development across the country are moving away from the suburban and exurban fringe and toward center-cities and close-in suburbs," in an article for MSNBC entitled Demographic trends now favor downtown: Growth across the country moves away from suburban and exurban fringe.
One might wonder what country Weber is writing about. In the United States, growth and development continues to be concentrated in suburban and exurban areas. Moreover, strong domestic migration continues away from the center cities and close-in suburbs, as evidenced by the fact that between 2000 and 2008, 4.6 million domestic migrants left the core counties of the metropolitan areas over 1,000,000 population, while 2.0 million moved into the suburban counties.
The case is apparently furthered by the obligatory reference and photograph of The Model, Portland, Oregon. However, even in Portland, the suburbs are doing far better than the core. Since 2000, the suburbs have gained 106,000 domestic migrants, while the core county (Multnomah) has lost 4,000 domestic migrants. The IRS micro-data further indicates that the core continues to lose net domestic migration to the suburban counties.
It appears that the only trend indicating that the suburbs are losing out to central cities is the exponential increase in articles blindly parroting “death of the suburbs” dogma.