Population Growth and Capture
Based on both historical and projected population data, the majority of population growth in rapidly developing metropolitan statistical areas is occurring in the suburban areas around the urban core. As of 2013, 71% of the population in the subject metropolitan areas lives in the suburbs. The annual population growth rate from 1990 to 2013 in the suburbs was greater than the growth rate of urban areas in eleven of the fourteen metropolitan statistical areas. Between 1990 and 2000 there were three metropolitan statistical areas that had faster growth in urban areas than in the suburbs. These three MSAs consisted of the Charlotte, Oklahoma City, and Las Vegas. However, between 2000 and 2010, the suburban growth rate reached the same growth rate as urban areas in all three of those metropolitan areas.
San Antonio, Texas, is the only metropolitan area analyzed in which there are currently more people living in the city than in the suburbs. The disproportion between suburban and urban populations is explained by the size of the City of San Antonio and the lack of major suburban towns around the city limits. Though the urban population in the San Antonio MSA is approximately 20% greater than the suburban population, San Antonio’s suburbs are growing more than two and a half times faster than the City of San Antonio. Over the past twenty-three years, the population of San Antonio’s suburbs has more than doubled. The large population growth in the suburbs of San Antonio is likely to continue, as the growth rate since 2010 has accelerated while urban growth has slowed.
Austin, Texas, is another example of a metropolitan statistical area having a larger urban population than the suburban population since ...
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...ry. The median age in suburban areas is consistently older than that of the urban core. Though the difference in age fluctuates suburban populations are, on average, at least two and a half years older than the urban population.
Suburban areas are also commonly defined by having larger average household sizes than urban areas. Phoenix is the only subject market that has a greater average household size in the urban core than its contiguous suburban area. Lastly, suburban areas are characterized by having a larger percentage of owners than renters. On Average, the suburbs of the fourteen selected metropolitan areas are composed of 70% owner-occupied housing units, which is approximately 20% greater than the urban areas. Suburban areas are characterized by having older populations, larger household sizes, and more homeowners than the urban core of a metropolitan area.