ICYMI: Suburbs Are Out, Downtown Is In: U.S. Cities

downtown subs article

Downtown is coming back.

Just look at Charlotte, Oklahoma City and Milwaukee — classic examples of U.S. cities where the well-to-do chose to live in the suburbs. Now they are among the most vibrant U.S. city centers, thanks to a surge in job opportunities in the past decade, according to a report by City Observatory, a think tank based in Portland, Oregon. Check out New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina drove people out of town almost ten years ago. Today, the job numbers point to a return in the urban population.

chart 1

City Observatory measured the urban core as an area within 3 miles of the central business district. It then took a before and after snapshot of the job market in the 51 biggest U.S. metropolitan areas in two different time periods. Interestingly, the marked job growth in city centers took place as the U.S. economy was entering the biggest recession since the Great Depression. 

chart 2

Revelers during Mardi Gras in New Orleans on Feb. 17, 2015.
Photographer: Gerald Herbert/AP Photo

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