News Update: The Aging United States Suburbs

  • The 2010 U.S. Census shows that suburbia is becoming increasingly older, as 40% of suburban residents in the United States are over 45 years old—up from 34% just a decade ago. The trend is not isolated to the suburbs, however, as city residents over 45 years of age has increased from 31% to 35% in the same time span.


  • Land prices in suburban India have escalated in recent years, in large part due to a proposed expansion of the corporation limits. Companies—most of which fall in the IT and manufacturing sector—are increasing construction on the periphery, especially in the areas east and north of Coimbatore. Central areas are becoming increasingly saturated and the expansion of corporations to suburban area seems unlikely to falter. Many residents are finding it more economical to sell their property as values have risen substantially in recent years—while lower and middle-income groups can no longer afford homes in many areas of suburban India.
  • The rising costs of urban property in Shanghai—coupled with the flood of poor immigrants into the city—has caused many young professionals to seek housing in the suburbs. Made up of a growing middle class, these men and women are turning the industrial wastelands of Shanghai’s periphery into a land of shopping malls and massive residential complexes. The exodus to suburbia has led to the construction of multiple subway lines, as well as a plethora of new retail, entertainment, and banking sectors in the suburbs. Government planners and corporations alike are having to readjust their long-term strategies to accommodate this shift in living preferences.
  • Government sponsored housing vouchers—known as Section 8—are allowing poor families in the United States to escape crime-ridden city housing and move to suburbia. The current housing market has created a glut of empty homes, as many landlords are welcoming lower class families to fill the void. The vouchers essentially “subsidize fair-market rent for people who can’t afford it,” which means guaranteed money for landlords who would otherwise be struggling to pay the mortgages of their rental properties. Families on Section 8 are now finding themselves in three to four bedroom homes with a yard, a far cry from the cramped government-owned housing projects of years past.

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