New Geography

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CENSUS 2010 OFFERS PORTRAIT OF AMERICA IN TRANSITION

The Census Bureau just finished releasing all of the state redistricting file information from the 2010 Census, giving us a now complete portrait of population change for the entire country. Population growth continued to be heavily concentrated in suburban metropolitan counties while many rural areas, particularly in the Great Plains, continue to shrink.

The release of all county data means it is also possible to take an unofficial, preliminary look at metropolitan area growth. The biggest gainers were Sunbelt cities in the South, Texas, and the Midwest, while the Midwest and Northeast continued to lag, particularly the old heavy manufacturing axis stretching from Detroit to Pittsburgh. But this picture was not monolithic. Many Southern cities with Rust Belt profiles like Birmingham failed to grow much compared to neighbors, nor did coastal California with its development restrictions.

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