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Old 02-23-2013, 06:22 PM
 
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In the past decade, and particularly since 2008, there has been a general trend for cities to grow more than suburbs, with San Francisco and New York being the obvious standouts in this category. There's more than one reason for this, the real estate crash is one, and significant drops in crime rates another. But demographics seem likely to play a part as well -- young adults like cities, they're exciting, there's nightlife, and other young adults to hook up with. This is great for cities... except that demographics change.

Here we have age pyramids for the US as a whole.

Age distribution Tables - Statistics United States

Look at the 2010 statistics. You see Generation Y making a big bulge in that young adult range -- great for cities. Now look at the projected 2020 statistics. That bulge has now moved mostly into the 30s -- more child-raising than partying age. Further, there's a big drop at 20-24, "Generation Z", echoing the "Generation X" drop.

Personally I expect this does in fact mean the influx to the cities will slow in the next few years, and reverse (though nothing like the 60s-90s decline) by 2020.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:35 PM
 
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It's not a tend. It's a fundamental shift, akin to coming out of an ice age and returning to a more normal climate after a 50 year failed experiment.

And it's really just getting started. In 20 years cities already not highly urban such as SF, Boston and NYC will be transformed.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:48 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Around here, none of my married friends in their 30s w/kids have left the city. I have a few 30s friends in the suburbs too, but they've always been there. Many have moved to more residential neighborhoods (like mine) from the single party scene areas they once inhabited. And, some of the "party areas" where people may have lived since graduating from college are now birthing more "grown-up" zones. I stumbled into one last night that I didn't even know existed.

A large part of it is lifestyle; they prefer the city, proximity to cultural and other institutions, not having to drive great distances to commute, etc.

An even larger part of it is economics. This is a city where 1) it's often cheaper to own than rent and 2) There are tons of homes available for under $200k that have no similarly-priced aesthetic equal in the suburbs. Additionally, there are a ton of 30-somethings who still have a bunch of student loan debt (or are perhaps taking out more to get additional degrees).

I think the fact that there is a real surplus of affordable housing here makes this quite a bit different from the San Francisco example.

Will future generations yawn at living in cities? I don't know. I don't think so.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:11 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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It's hard to predict, but my guess is that a positive cycle of increasing desirability will tend to keep the city more attractive. (DC's gentrification seems to be doing this) Perhaps it might slow down and prices increases slow and reverse a bit. But if that happens, there's less incentive to move out.

Also, the young adults in "urban" cities is probably not close to a majority of young adults. Even if the number of young adults decrease, there's more room for the proportion of young adults moving to cities to increase. Will it happen? I'm not sure but I think it's possible. And judging from your chart, the decrease in young adults is that large in the next decade, maybe 10%.

As for New York City, assuming the census numbers are credible (Queens added more housing units than people from 2000-2010), there wasn't much of a difference between city and suburb growth rate. Many of the gentrifying neighborhoods showed no population change, or lost population as previous residents moved out. The areas that attracted gentrifiers and had large population gains were areas that had infill on previously non-residential land (waterfront areas of Williamsburg, for example). The decade where New York City grew much faster than its suburbs was the 90s, which was a decade of massive white flight with even more massive immigration into the city.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:04 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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For New York City specifically, this may halt growth:

8.4 Million New Yorkers Suddenly Realize New York City A Horrible Place To Live | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Good question... are there any multi-family neighbourhoods with lots of families? North Toronto is often described as very family friendly, but the "affordable" $500k-$1000k houses are being replaced by $1.5-2.5m houses. In some cases it's more like $1.5m --> $3m... I don't know who can afford these, but probably not the people moving into the $300k 1 bedroom condos downtown. North Toronto's single family neighbourhoods are growing in population though (~5% from 2006-2011) without development on non-residential land as big houses replace more average sized ones.

Maybe the cheaper suburban neighbourhoods in Southwest Scarborough, Etobicoke, Downsview and the like will grow and become more urban? Or maybe families will move into cheaper and larger low-rise apartments?

Of course they could always move to the suburbs (Brampton, Oshawa, Whitby and Milton are still not too expensive) or even cheaper cities like St Catharines, Niagara Falls, Hamilton or Brantford where you can get an average family sized home in a core neighbourhood for a price several times lower than in Toronto's urban neighbourhoods. Even Toronto's cheaper suburbs are a couple times more expensive. Those cheap cities are too far to commute though, so the jobs would have to move there too.

There's also the fact that a lot of the people living in suburban homes don't have children. My parents' street in the suburbs is about 60-70% empty nesters and retirees.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Uh-oh ...
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:24 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Good question... are there any multi-family neighbourhoods with lots of families?
For New York City, the South Bronx is really popular with families going by the % of the population under 18. And it's almost all multi-family. Probably not what the OP had in mind. As for gentrifying neighborhoods, the district containing brownstone Brooklyn has had a slight decrease in the amount of children in the past two decades but a steady rise (about 30%) in the amount of white non-hispanic children, suggesting a some of the new gentrifiers do stay and raise children. Most of the city's housing stock is multi-family, but hard to separate as most outer district contain a mix of housing types.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
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Look at the age distribution table for 2050. THE largest group of people are the Over 80s. I don't know how so many over 80s will be able to stay in the suburbs driving everywhere. So, all those 20 somethings looking for a party will be replaced by the Over 80s looking for a easy ride to their gerontologist.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Many people are raising children in the city. In New York it's creating a lot of challenges in some neighborhoods. This just came out: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/ny...thing.html?hpw

Many people would like to raise kids in the city. Nowadays it's more a question of expense.
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