Census Bureau: Outlying counties are growing faster
While a solid majority of the U.S. metro area population was living in central metro counties by 2007, the outlying metro counties in most regions of the country grew faster between 2000 and 2007 than central counties, according to new information released June 17 by the U.S. Census Bureau. The exception was the Northeast, where central metro counties grew fastest.
By 2007, 251.9 million U.S. residents lived in metro areas, and 92 percent of them lived in central counties, which contain all or a substantial portion of the urbanized area. The Northeast contained the highest percentage of metro area residents in central counties (98 percent in New England), while the South contained the smallest percentage (82 percent in the South Central Division).
However, the outlying counties, in which most residents commuted to work in central counties, increased in size by 13 percent in the seven years encompassed by the data, while central counties grew 7.8 percent.
The overall growth of metro areas in most U.S. regions largely resulted from natural increase, except in the South, which gained more from migration. Outlying counties, in general, saw more growth from migration than natural increase.