Major-City Growth Slows, but That Doesn’t Mean a Rural Rebound

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Nearly 1.9 million people moved out of the central parts of major cities from 2010 to 2019. But they only got as far as the suburbs.

One of the undeniable facts of the past decade is that the nation’s biggest cities had the biggest gains in population.

But demographer Bill Frey has noticed a recent kink in the inexorable growth of the giant metropolitan areas, those with a million or more people. In a recent report for the Brookings Institution, Frey writes that “growth has diminished in recent years” in the nation’s largest cities.

“Major metropolitan areas with populations exceeding one million sustained the biggest growth slowdowns and, in several cases, population losses over the last four years, as have the urban cores within them,” Frey writes.

Does this mean there has been yet another “rural rebound,” with people fleeing cities for the countryside?

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