Census estimates show U.S. population shifting to exurbs

As the U.S. population rises, more and more people are moving into compact, smartly planned, energy-efficient cities. Ha! Ha! Sigh. Actually, the fastest-growing areas of the country are fringes: suburbs and semi-rural areas on the edges of expanding metropolitan regions. “It’s not just the decade of the exurbs but the decade of the exurbs of the exurbs. People are leaving expensive cores and going as far out as they can to get a big house and a big yard,” says demographer William Frey, compactly summarizing everything wrong with this crazy country. Americans are drifting to the West and South, seeking low-density areas and affordable housing. Thirteen of the 20 fastest-growing counties are in the South (the census data, from July 1, 2005, does not take into account Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent relocation). Don’t come running to us when the cheap oil runs out, people!