In an analysis of the nation’s employment, population, building permit and home value activity since the start of the post-recession in mid-2009, Trulia has discovered a stark difference between urban and rural recovery and expansion.

In the nation’s largest 100 metros, the employment rate returned to pre-recession levels by mid-2012 and grew by an additional 9.6% through mid-2017. However, in rural counties, employment has only risen by 0.6% over the same period in rural counties, and has yet to reach pre-crisis levels. At the same time, while home values grew by 53.1% across the 100 largest metros, rural home values grew only 27.9%. Urban populations rose by 4.8%, while rural populations fell by 1.0%.

Nationally, the population has grown by 1.6 people for every building permit issued. But, in the 100 largest metros, 1.9 people have been added for every permit issued. At one extreme are places like Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Oakland, Calif., which have added 4.3 and 3.8 people per permit issued–and home values in those metros have more than doubled. By contrast, Raleigh, N.C., and Austin, Tex., have added 1.8 and 2.0 people per permit issued and home prices have appreciated a more modest 37.8% and 57.2%, respectively.

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