Multifamily Midwest

Despite the hype for downtowns, United States remains a mostly suburban country

The urban centers of cities are getting most of the press today, with countless stories focusing on the growing number of people -- young and old -- who want to rent and live in downtown metropolitan areas. But the truth? The United States remains a mostly suburban nation.

suburbsby Dan Rafter

The urban centers of cities are getting most of the press today, with countless stories focusing on the growing number of people -- young and old -- who want to rent and live in downtown metropolitan areas.

But the truth? The United States remains a mostly suburban nation.

That's the news from a new report from the Urban Land Institute, Housing in the Evolving American Suburb.

According to the report, 79 percent of the population in the United States' 50 largest metropolitan areas live in the suburbs. So do 78 percent of the households in these large city areas.

The report found, too, that from 2000 through 2015, suburban areas accounted for 91 percent of the population growth and 84 percent of the household growth in the top 50 metropolitan areas in the United States.

And that's not all. The Urban Land Institute reported that as of 2014 67.5 percent of the employment in the 50 largest metropolitan areas was in suburbs.

Those living in the suburbs tend to have higher incomes, too. The median household income in the suburbs is $71,000, according to the Urban Land Institute. The median household income is $49,200 in urban areas. The suburbs are also home to 85 percent of children aged 18 and younger and 75 percent of young adults from the ages of 25 to 34.

It's true that urban areas have become trendier places for people to live, especially those who are choosing to rent. But don't forget that the suburbs are still important, and are still key areas for commercial real estate growth.