The Wall Street Journal's Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg report that the top 50 U.S. cities accounted for 20% of the nation's population growth for the 12 months that ended July 1, 2015, which is down 21% from the prior fiscal year. In 2011, cities accounted for 26.7% of U.S. population growth.
After the recession ended in 2009, U.S. cities experienced a population surge as revitalized downtown cores drew in millennials, empty nesters, and immigrants with pedestrian-friendly environments and job growth. Now, that growth is slowing as a large share of Americans in their late 20s reach prime homebuying age, and turn to the suburbs and exburbs which seem safer and more affordable.
Once-hot cities including New York, Boston, San Jose, Calif., and Austin, Texas, also grew more slowly last year than they did the prior one, driven in part by rising housing costs. “A lot of people are getting priced out, especially in the major cities,” said Adam Kamins, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics. “There’s only so much space that you can build on.”