Remember when everyone was leaving the city and fleeing to the suburbs with its massive malls, open spaces, and big box stores? Well, for the first time in decades, America’s cities are growing at a faster rate than the suburbs, as young Americans are choosing to marry later, delay home-buying, and are staying in city centers.

The shift in how Americans are choosing to live their lives was illustrated by recent Census data.

The Associated Press explains:

Driving the resurgence are young adults, who are delaying careers, marriage, and having children amid persistently high unemployment. Burdened with college debt or toiling in temporary, lower-wage positions, they are spurning homeownership in the suburbs for shorter-term, no-strings-attached apartment living, public transit, and proximity to potential jobs in larger cities.

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 planners and developers are betting on young Americans’ continued interest in urban living, sensing that some longer-term changes such as decreased reliance on cars may be afoot.

Cities that saw the biggest growth spurts were New Orleans; Atlanta; Denver; Washington, D.C.; and Charlotte, N.C. Other major cities, such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, also saw large gains.

Do you live in the city or the suburbs? Which one do you prefer? 

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  • Sue

    I think the main draw of cities is more things to do socially and public transportation (for those cities that do have it!) or walkability. Driving is great but it’s also expensive. People are also more environmentally and health conscious, if you can walk, bike, or take a bus or train, your carbon footprint is lower and you also keep your body moving!

  • Apple

    I loved the city. I lived in NYC where mass transit goes wherever you want. You can get to where you need to go nonstop for 109 a month, so much opportunity options entertainment fashion originality , once your exposed to this ,everything else fails in comparison . I would love to live my youth there and buy a place in Jersey City when I settle down. For now I’m stuck in the racist south filled with bad construction no opportunity no fashion lame people and non existent jobs. Yay someone hand me one bullet and a gun