By Jerry Mosemak, Haya El Nasser, Paul Overberg and Chad Palmer
USA TODAY - 4/5/2012
U.S. population growth slows, especially in far suburbs
Five years ago, millions of Americans were streaming to new homes on the fringes of metropolitan areas. Then housing prices collapsed and the Great Recession slowed growth to levels not seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Growth remained slow last year, and largely confined to counties at the center of metropolitan areas. Maps show population gain or loss in 2006 and 2011, based on new Census Bureau estimates.
America's romance with sprawl may not be completely over, but it's definitely on the rocks.
Almost three years after the official end of a recession that kept people from moving and devastated new suburban subdivisions, people continue to avoid counties on the farthest edge of metropolitan areas, according to Census estimates out today.
The financial and foreclosure crisis forced more people to rent. Soaring gas prices made long commutes less appealing. And high unemployment drew more people to big job centers. As the nation crawls out of the downturn, cities and older suburbs are leading the way.
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