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Big US cities boom as young adults shun suburbs

Big US cities boom as young adults shun suburbs

For the first time in a century, most of America's largest cities are growing at a faster rate than their surrounding suburbs as young adults seeking a foothold in the weak job market shun home-buying and stay in bustling urban centers.
New 2011 census estimates released Thursday highlight the dramatic switch.
Driving the resurgence are young adults, who are delaying careers, marriage and children amid persistently high unemployment. Burdened with college debt or toiling in temporary, lower-wage positions, they are choosing shorter-term, no-strings-attached apartment living, public transit and proximity to potential jobs.
While economists tend to believe the city boom is temporary, that is not stopping many city planning agencies and apartment developers from seeking to boost their appeal to the sizable demographic of 18-to-29-year olds. They make up roughly 1 in 6 Americans, and some sociologists are calling them "generation rent."
The last time growth in big cities surpassed that in outlying areas occurred prior to 1920, before the rise of mass-produced automobiles spurred expansion beyond city cores.
New Orleans, which saw its population shrivel in the mid-2000s due to Hurricane Katrina, saw the biggest rebound in city growth relative to suburbs in the last year, 3.7 percent vs. 0.6 percent. Atlanta, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, North Carolina, also showed wide disparities in city growth compared to suburbs.
Other big cities showing faster growth compared to the previous decade include Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Seattle.
"I will never live in the suburbs," said Jaclyn King, 28, a project director at a Denver hospital. King, who grew up in a Denver suburb, still remembers her parents' 45-minute train commute to the city each day. She now rents a Denver house with her fianc


Updated : 2021-08-02 21:40 GMT+08:00