Back in June, Brookings Institution demographer William Frey dug into a new set of Census figures and determined that in America's 51 largest metro areas, on average, the core cities had suddenly started growing slightly faster than their suburbs. Frey's analysis focused on larger metros, but as it turns out, much the same story had been happening in smaller metros such as Clarksville, Tennessee, or Lexington, Kentucky. A new study released Monday by Smart Growth America, the national community-development advocacy organization, expanded on Frey's work to examine the population growth rates in the center cities of small U.S. metros (those with under one million people) between 2010 to 2011.
The top 10, below (table from the report):
"The fact that cities in small metro areas are growing suggests that there's a trend toward city living in smaller metros too," says Bill Fulton, vice president of policy and research for Smart Growth America.
These growth rates, however, are still smaller than those of large metros. The Washington, D.C. metro area, for instance, saw a 2.43 percent growth rate in the primary city and a 1.54 percent growth rate in its suburbs during the 2010 to 2011 period, according to Brookings.