According to new 2011 census estimates released today, as of July 1, 2011, more than three in every five people living in the United States (62 percent or 194.4 million people) lived in incorporated places, commonly thought of as cities.
More than a third of the nation's population (37 percent or 116.2 million people) lived in cities with populations of more than 50,000.
Millennial Generation or Gen Y born roughly between 1975 and 1995 is driving this trend it appears. Plagued by high unemployment, many have had to delay careers, marriage and having children. And the idea of owning a home is more often being put off or written off entirely.
Many city planning agencies and apartment developers are attempting to increase their relevance to this large demographic of 18-to-29-year olds. This segment makes up roughly 1 in 6 Americans, and some sociologists are calling them "generation rent."
The last time growth in big cities surpassed that in outlying areas occurred prior to 1920, before the rise of mass-produced automobiles spurred expansion beyond city cores.