Texas cities lead nation in growth

Joel Kotkin:

One of the most ironic aspects of our putative "Age of Obama" is how little impact it has had on the nation's urban geography. Although the administration remains dominated by boosters from traditional blue state cities--particularly the president's political base of Chicago--the nation's metropolitan growth continues to shift mostly toward a handful of Sunbelt red state metropolitan areas.

Our Urbanist in Chief may sit in the Oval Office, but Americans continue to vote with their feet for the adopted hometown of widely disdained former President George W. Bush. According to the most recent Census estimates, the Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas, region added 146,000 people between 2008 and 2009--the most of any region in the country--a healthy 2.3% increase.

Other Texas cities also did well. Longtime rival Houston sat in second, with an additional 140,000 residents. Smaller Austin added 50,000--representing a remarkable 3% growth--while San Antonio grew by some 41,000 people.

In contrast, most blue state mega cities--with the exception of Washington, D.C.--grew much more slowly. The New York City region's rate of growth was just one-fifth that of Dallas or Houston, while Los Angeles barely reached one-third the level of the Texas cities.

These trends should continue: According to Moody's ( MCO - news - people ) Economy.com, Texas' big cities are entering economic recovery mode well ahead of almost all the major centers along the East or West Coasts. This represents a continuation of longer-term trends, both before and after the economic crisis. Between 2000 and 2009 New York gained 95,000 jobs while Chicago lost 257,000, Los Angeles over 167,000 and San Francisco some 216,000. Meanwhile, Dallas added nearly 150,000 positions and Houston a hefty 250,000.

This leads me to believe that the most dynamic future for America urbanism--and I believe there is one--lies in Texas' growing urban centers. To reshape a city in a sustainable way, you need to have a growing population, a solid and expanding job base and a relatively efficient city administration.


There is much more.

He goes on to discuss the the Chicago areas shrinking population and deteriorating infrastructure. This is just more evidence that Texas's low tax model is much more dynamic that the liberal tax and spend model of the North East and Mid West. California is becoming an obvious basket case for the tax and spend model.


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