Almost three years after the official end of a recession that kept people from moving and devastated new suburban subdivisions, people continue to avoid counties on the farthest edge of metropolitan areas, according to Census estimates out today.
The financial and foreclosure crisis forced more people to rent. Soaring gas prices made long commutes less appealing. And high unemployment drew more people to big job centers. As the nation crawls out of the downturn, cities and older suburbs are leading the way.
Population growth in fringe counties nearly screeched to a halt in the year that ended July 1, 2011. By comparison, counties at the core of metro areas are growing faster than the nation as a whole.
"There's a pall being cast on the outer edges," says John McIlwain, senior fellow for housing at the Urban Land Institute, a non-profit development group that promotes sustainability. "The foreclosures, the vacancies, the uncompleted roads. It's uncomfortable out there. The glitz is off."
I remember reading somewhere that over time 70-80% of the population would be living in metro areas. Also one has to consider the location of jobs. Does the fact that so many people (and so much money) is in financial institutions which are usually located in metro areas explain why there is a move towards metro areas? Manufacturing, which is on a downwards trend, is usually outside metro areas.