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US Cities Not Growing Like They Used To

2019-5-27

Big cities in the United States are not growing like they used to.

Most of the largest cities grew last year by a much smaller amount than they did 10 years ago, estimates the U.S. Census Bureau.

William Frey is a senior fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution. The program was set up to provide research to officials in cities across the country.

This Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, file photo shows highway traffic with the Dallas skyline in the background. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
This Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, file photo shows highway traffic with the Dallas skyline in the background. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

Frey says the growth of cities 10 years ago resulted from the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009. Because of the weak U.S. economy, he said, many Americans chose to live in big cities.

The effects of the recession “stranded a lot of millennials in cities,” he added. By staying there, these young people delayed home-buying in nearby suburban communities.

The newly-released Census information looks at changes in cities and towns between the middle of 2017 and mid-2018. The data does not show changes in areas made up of two or more cities, towns, suburbs or counties.

Last month, when the Census Bureau released data about U.S. counties, New York City’s planners disputed the agency’s methodology. They said the Bureau may have miscounted the number of immigrants arriving in the country.

In the latest Census data, Phoenix and San Antonio are two cities that seem to be growing. The populations of cities such as Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas, grew, but not as much as they did in the past.

San Jose, California lost more than 2,000 residents last year, according to Census Bureau estimates.

“There is a growing moving away from cities,” Frey said. He added that things were different 10 years ago. “Cities were growing faster than suburbs. That is starting to turn around.”

I'm John Russell.

Mike Schneider reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted his report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

senior fellow – n. a job position at a research center or university

strand – v. to leave (a person or animal) in a place without a way of leaving it — usually used as (be) stranded

suburb – n. an outlying part of a city of town; a smaller community close to a city

county – n. an area of a state or country that is larger than a city and has its own government to deal with local issues

resident – n. a person who lives in a place for some length of time

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