“Boomburbs” overtake big cities in U.S.A.

If you are familiar with U.S cities, which would you say has the larger population: the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, Arizona or Minneapolis? The surprising answer is Mesa, with 396,375 residents versus 382,618 for Minneapolis.

That's just one example of the rush to the suburbs that occurred in America during the 1990s. The Fannie Mae Foundation calls this breed of big and fast-growing suburbs "boomburbs."

  • According to 2000 Census data more than one-quarter of big U.S. cities – those having populations of 100,000 to 400,000 – are suburbs, and accounted for half of population growth in America’s 199 big cities.

  • There are 53 U.S. boomburbs – defined as suburbs that grew by at least 10 percent every decade since they became urban.

  • There are some eye-openers among the boomburb statistics – Santa Ana, California has surpassed Cincinnati in population; Arlington, Texas, has oustripped Buffalo; and Anaheim, California has a much larger population than Newark, New Jersey.

  • Demographers describe boomburbs as cities that don't look like cities – having no downtown or skyline, and no national recognition of their size.

    Most of them are located in the South and West.

    Urban leaders have until now focused on the problems of declining cities – from high crime and racial tensions to distressed neighborhoods. But the problems of the boomburbs are just opposite – how to keep up with phenomenal growth.

    Source: Haya El Nasser, Census Analysis Shows Birth of “Boomburbs”, USA Today, June 22, 2001.

    For text http://www.usatoday.com/hlead.htm
    For more on Demographic Trends http://www.ncpa.org/pd/social/social1.html

    FMF\26 June 2001
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