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The Changing Demographics of America's Suburbs

The changes in the demographic makeup of America’s suburbs are so profound that some urbanists are calling for a new sociology of suburbia.
These aren't your grandparents' suburbs.
These aren't your grandparents' suburbs.Phelan Ebenhack/Reuters

A great deal of attention has been paid to the revitalization of cities and urban areas, and the decline of rural communities. In fact, the very idea of a growing divide between urban and rural America has become a defining narrative of our time. But what about the suburbs? A majority of Americans live in them, after all.

The suburbs are in the midst of dramatic transformation, too, as they are buffeted by the very same forces—globalization, technology, deindustrialization, and the rise of the clustered knowledge economy—that are transforming urban and rural areas.