More people are living in clusters rather than open spaces, with city life expanding in popularity in that hard-to-name decade that ended in 2010. U.S. Census data says 80.7 percent of Americans lived in urban zones in 2010, up nearly two percentage points from 2000. The rural population declined from 21 percent to 19.3 percent in the same span.
Reuters analyzes the data, which also shows population growth in urban areas (12.7 percent) outpaced general population increase (9.7 percent) in the decade. Some of the hottest spots for urban growth were Charlotte, Austin and Las Vegas, all of which upped their metro area populations by 43.5 percent or more.
The stats don’t necessarily mean that people are fleeing the suburbs and heading into city centers. Urban sprawl is claiming more territory, roping many formerly rural zones into metroplexes. More clustered people demand more infrastructure, putting the heat on strained government budgets.