Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Voting With Their Feet

An AP story today proves that average Americans don’t want the “urban infill” and “dense housing” that the “Smart Growthers” preach about:
Americans are leaving the nation's big cities in search of cheaper homes and open spaces farther out.

Nearly every large metropolitan area had more people move out than move in from 2000 to 2004, with a few exceptions in the South and Southwest, according to a report being released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

Northeasterners are moving South and West. West Coast residents are moving inland. Midwesterners are chasing better job markets. And just about everywhere, people are escaping to the outer suburbs, also known as exurbs.

"It's a case of middle class flight, a flight for housing affordability," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "But it's not just white middle class flight, it's Hispanics and blacks, too."
And let’s not forget those DINKs that crave “Manhattan-style living”:
Richard Florida, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, said smaller, wealthier households are replacing larger families in many big metropolitan areas.

That drives up housing prices even as the population shrinks, chasing away even more members of the middle class.

"Because they are bidding up prices, they are forcing some people out to the exurbs and the fringe," Florida said. "Other people are forced to make moves in response to that. I don't have any sense of this abating."
Why in the world are some people trying to turn Pullman-Moscow into an “urban area” when that is what people moving here are trying to escape?

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