Quote of the day – exurbs the fastest-growing areas

Symphony Meadows in Volo Illinois

Sprawl appears to be winning the ongoing battle against urban sprawl, according to a recent post at Atlantic Cities:

The exurbs – those deconcentrated towns flung far beyond the urban core and just outside the suburban spread – have been growing faster than the rest of the country in recent years, even amid the housing bust and economic recession. According to a new analysis from the Urban Institute and researchers at the U.S. Census Bureau, these areas have seen growth rates that far outpace more densely populated areas as well as the nation as a whole.

Between 2000 and 2010, the total U.S. population grew about 10 percent, from 281 million to 309 million. Over that same time, the exurban population grew by more than 60 percent, from about 16 million to almost 26 million people, according to the analysis.

According to an interactive map linked from the article, the population of the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metro area as a whole grew only 0.4% between 2000 and 2010 while its exurban areas grew by 5.3% during that period.

If you’ve bought into the meme that rising gas prices and collapsing home prices in recent years fueled a movement away from the exurbs, consider that the population of the Chicago metro area as a whole was stable between 2007 and 2010 while its exurban areas grew by 4.2%.

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