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Now Hear This: Peoria, Ariz., Is Bigger Than Peoria, Ill.

I just received a copy of a book called Boomburbs: The Rise of America’s Accidental Cities. It was from Boomburbs that I learned that Peoria, Ariz. (a typical boomburb) now has a larger population than Peoria, Ill.

The biggest boomburb—Mesa, Ariz.—had a 2000 population of 396,375, making it bigger than Minneapolis, Miami, or St. Louis. Or consider this: North Las Vegas, Nev., a boomburb that most people are barely aware exists, has surpassed Salt Lake City in population.

Boomburbs get no respect. Just ask the folks in Anaheim, Calif., whose baseball team has been renamed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim because the owners didn’t like the sound of the Anaheim Angels.

Here are some other names for boomburbs or closely related types of communities:


edge cities

edgeless cities



exit ramp economies

outer cities


suburban nucleations

stealth cities

Boomburbs is by Robert E. Lang and Jennifer B. LeFurgy. It’s published by Brookings Institution Press. I recommend it.

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