Suburb Shluburb

By Eric Zanzucchi (@ericzanzucchi)

Census data gathered from July 2010 and 2011 has shown that for the first time since the 1920’s America’s cities are growing at a faster rate than it’s suburbs. This trend is occurring in 27 of America’s 51 biggest metropolitan areas.

The Wall Street Journal authors argue that this is largely because of the housing market situation. While that probably is the straw that broke the camel’s back, I think there are other strong factors that fed into a bucking in this trend.

Car costs are growing exponentially. A new sedan with it’s standard package will cost roughly $20k plus the $4 per gallon do drive into the city to work everyday. By living in the city it’s possible to live a life without a car. I have a 27 year old friend who lives in San Francisco that has never gotten his drivers license. He’s never had to. Everywhere he goes is within thirty minutes either by foot, bus or train.

Secondly, the nature of the American lifestyle is changing with every decade. People are getting married later and having children later. The whole appeal of suburban life is that it’s quieter and safer. For single people a life in the city full of events and excitement is much more appealing.

While the economy improves this new trend may reverse itself, but it won’t completely die.