More Americans Are Moving to Dallas and its 'Burbs than Anywhere Else

Categories: Development

DowntownDallasInc.jpg
Downtown Dallas, Inc.
It's hard not to note the triumphant tone in Joel Kotkin's piece in Forbes today on where Americans are moving. Kotkin, a scholar and pundit on urban issues, has some skin in the game, having just published a book that predicts that population growth over the next several decades will be focused not in dense urban areas but in suburbs. And he takes the most recent census data on migration as proof that he's right.

"The red states may have lost the presidential election, but they are winning new residents, largely at the expense of their politically successful blue counterparts," Kotkin writes. "For all the talk of how the Great Recession has driven people -- particularly the 'footloose young' -- toward dense urban centers, census data reveal that Americans are still drawn to the same sprawling Sun Belt regions as before."

And by "sprawling Sun Belt regions," Kotkin is referring to places like Dallas-Fort Worth, which attracted more domestic migrants between July 2010 and July 2011 than anywhere else in the country. Compare the 39,021 transplants who settled here during that period with New York, Chicago and L.A., which are all losing residents. Kotkin calls them "the deck chairs on the migratory titanic."

Kotkin pins this largely on simple economics. Aging Baby Boomers want to move to places with a low cost of living to stretch their retirement savings, while millennials look to the Sun Belt for the jobs. All the talk of the young and hip flocking to older, resurgent urban centers is overstated.

Kotkin concludes that "expensive, over-regulated and dense metropolitan areas" are still in decline and "lower-cost, less regulated and generally less dense regions" -- the "opportunity cities" like Dallas -- remain ascendent. "This may be bad news to many urban pundits and big city speculators, but it also should create new opportunities for more perceptive, and less jaded, investors," he writes.

That may be so, but it doesn't explain why, to illustrate the story, Forbes chose a picture of downtown Dallas that prominently features Reunion Arena


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
51 comments
citycoyote
citycoyote

Dallas is inside Loop 12. Anything else is something else, might even be Fort Worth, all of which is OK with people who live in Dallas as long as they don't have to go outside Loop 12 too often, except maybe to DFW Airport to fly to other parts of the country or to other countries. If you don't understand this, you probably don't live in Dallas.

rightsaidfred
rightsaidfred

Who wants to lay bets on how Frisco is going to look in 20 years versus Lakewood/East Dallas?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I wish some people would realize that Dallas without suburbs would be Jacksonville. It's a symbiotic relationship--Dallas needs the burbs, the burbs need Dallas, and just about anyone can find their preferred style of living somewhere in DFW. 

I don't get why some people get so offended at the concept of a suburb. The modern-day suburbs create jobs. High-paying corporate jobs because companies like being in places where their employees can buy houses and send their kids to decent schools. Deal with it.

danielj.mcgraw
danielj.mcgraw

Getting away from politics for a moment, what Kotkin misses here is that he assumes all southern cities are all suburban and no urban. I live in Fort Worth and the growth areas are the Near South Side along Magnolia Ave., West Seventh St, Race Street and the near north side once the Trinity River thing gets going. Same is true in Dallas. The facts are this: the urban areas in both Fort Worth and Dallas are growing faster than the suburban sprawl areas. Both are growing, but the urban is a tick faster. Future growth is dependent on market forces and the younger market wants walkable areas with better mass transit and many of the empty nesters want no lawn to mow and walkable urban as well. This is not to say urban will have more growth in terms of numbers of people than suburban, but the future looks like the urban areas are not going to remain vacant lots. More likely growth areas that go up instead of out. And that is based upon changes in the market, which will one day change into something else. But that is where they are now and in the immediate future.

atpcyclexxx
atpcyclexxx

@brothafan lol id only move for a man if i was marrying him

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Travel regularly to LA, NYC, Chicago, Boston and you know Dallas ain't that bad.  Every place has it's problems.  Why do so many commenters seem to hate where they live?   Is hate that fashionable?

lemonaioli
lemonaioli

Well, I moved to Chicago over the weekend after having lived in Dallas since '77 (minus time at college). I love living in a city where I can walk places, where there are a lot of neighborhoods with character. If I could afford Boston, DC or NYC, I'd consider them too.

That said, I could always return to DFW. My mom certainly hopes so. Her many comments tell me she's less than happy. My favorite was at Thanksgiving dinner last week...what if I end up living next to a meth lab? My new neighborhood is safer than where I lived in the Village and I didn't feel especially unsafe there. Meth lab? Really?

So at least I made the count even for the one person who moved to Dallas over the weekend...

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

Blue staters will move from places like SoCal, which once had the best of everything, and bring the blue-model demands which ruined it all. Then red staters will migrate to these dumps and fix it all, making them functional again, and the process begins anew. IOW, no matter where red state types go, highly superior blue-model types will follow, and fuck it all up and never quite get it.

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

There will come newer, shinier, sprawlier, corporate tax breakier metropolises elsewhere in the next 5, 10, 20 years. And then America will move its back office jobs on the down the road, sending Collin County on its way towards being the next Detroit ("the Paris of the Midwest" in the 1950s).

Collin County load of unsustainable sprawl that didn't even exist (in anything remotely comparable to what it is now) just 20-30 years ago and will for the same reason be a vast, decaying wasteland of abandoned homes and strip malls once the current party ends. No one says, "I am really proud of Frisco and hope to live out the rest of my days in this beautiful place." Frisco et al. are not places to be lived; they are places to be tolerated until the kids are out of its aggressively segregated schools. To visit truly great cities of the world is to realize what a tragic, vapid, anti-intellectual joke these places are.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

The center city will continue to get cooler, and the 'burbs will, too, only different cool. We will invent solutions to our challenges and adopt better morals about despoilation. But if we ignore the least of us, they will pull the whole thing down.  

anon
anon

"For all the talk of how the Great Recession has driven people -- particularly the 'footloose young' -- toward dense urban centers, census data reveal that Americans are still drawn to the same sprawling Sun Belt regions as before."

Note that no where does he say where within those Sun Belt regions people are moving. The 'footloose young' in Dallas are moving to close-in neighborhoods, where supply of housing is woefully inadequate to keep up with demand, resulting in skyrocketing prices. Given the delay in household formation and having children (because after pricing, schools are the biggest thing driving people to suburbs), this will continue to be the case, even in places like Dallas. I'm not going to argue that McKinney, Allen, Frisco, etc aren't going to continue to prosper and grow. But prices don't lie, and they indicate that the closer-in areas are far more desirable than the suburbs.

downtownworker
downtownworker

Another grumpy old man whining about losing the election. NEXT...

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I think it's all of that secession talk that's bringing them to TX. That, or maybe it's Whataburger.

DMZ3
DMZ3

I moved away from the Metroplex but every time I return I'm blown away by the sheer fucking size of the place, and how much it's changing. The interesting thing about the talk about red states gaining population, and the blue states losing it, is that it's also changing the political character of the red states. There's a lot of talk about the growing Latino vote in Texas, but what's often left out is the non-Latino liberal vote that's moving in by the tens of thousands.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

wow, what a revelation. when people relocate they choose to go where jobs are available.

the list includes Seattle, Miami and Washington DC. not "sun belt" cities.

odd indeed to have austin at no. 3 and then conclude "expensive, over-regulated and dense metropolitan areas" are still in decline".

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

I hope all those yankees enjoy their life in the generic, craptastic northern suburbs.

chasd00
chasd00

over the past year or two my wife and I have been driving around the Northern suburbs ( Mckinney, Allen, West Plano, Addison etc) in search of a cool place to live with good schools, the growth up there is pretty amazing I have to admit. I work in Southlake and once the DFW connector project is done the area between Southlake and Las Colinas is going to explode.

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@rightsaidfred 

It'll probably look like Arlington, with all the sports teams and restaurants.  With so many single-family homes it's not going to turn into Pleasant Grove overnight.  There will be more apartments and hotels as the entertainment district evolves, it'll probably a good place to go get weed.  But it'll also still be a good place to live.  Go back to your hole, hipster.

anon
anon

@Scruffygeist I'm not going to disagree with your statements. But companies like suburbs because they can get tax rebates to relocate there, the government funds the highway construction so they aren't as disconnected as they otherwise would be, and the cheap home prices mean they can pay their employees a lot less. The flipside is that we are getting companies to move back to downtown the same way. It's all really a symptom of the corporate takeover that's happened in this country.

DOCensors
DOCensors

@Sotiredofitall Inside every liberal is a little lefty dictator just aching to tell everyone else how to live. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@lemonaioli 

You'll discover in the next few months why so many folks from that geographical area are anxious to trade places with you in DFW.

Check with us again around Feb. 20th, then again in May when you are waiting for spring to finally, mercifully arrive.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@albert.finney000 or a balanced state budget, well funded schools and the like.  California is rebounding rather nicely, and they've fixed many of their problems.  And, much of this is lead by Gov. Moonbeam.  Those who understand and respect gov't make better managers than sound-bite sophists like Rick Perry.  But, you keep supporting people who don't believe in gov't and run it like a rented car.  Look at the budgets under Bush, when he came in, and when he left.  He added over a trillion/yr in spending in his tenure--that from a budget of 2.5 trillion base.

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@albert.finney000

Right. Let me know when Texas has a Stanford. Or a Cal. Or a Silicon Valley. Or a Tier 1 global city. Or a global capital of film and fashion.

Believe it or not, the wealthiest and best-educated Californians aren't really losing any sleep over Texas collecting some back office jobs it once had.

James080
James080

@MikeDunlap You don't have a clue what you're talking about. Aggressively segregated schools? Try some real facts.

DISD - White 4.6%, Black 26.4%, Hispanic 67.7%, Asian 1.2%. 95.4% minority.

PISD - W 48%, B 11% H 18% A 21% (minority majority district)

RISD - W 32%, B 25% H 35%, A 7% (minority majority district)

FISD - W 61.4%, B 12.2%, H 13.1% A 12.7% 

All three suburban school districts are more diversified than DISD.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@MikeDunlap - "anti-intellectual" is a term that smart people avoid using.

anon
anon

@MikeDunlap Come on. There's no reason to counter Kotkin's ridiculous, one-sided opinion with the opposing ridiculous, one-sided opinion. The suburbs will age, just like every place does. You can already see it in Richardson, Irving, and Plano (maybe others too - I just haven't been to them). They're showing their age big time, but it's just making them more like the cities that their residents once hoped to escape. More diverse; more dense; and more challenged in terms of planning for and coping with the strains that poorer, less educated residents bring. 

And I know lots of people who love their suburbs and plan to retire there. I know people who moved close-in once the kids were through high school and made no attempt to hide it. And I know people who left Plano for Prosper because of "the new neighbors". Is it so hard to believe that people enjoy living in such places? I can't personally ever imagine living there but I am perfectly capable of seeing their appeal to others.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@JimSX Joel Kotkin's complaint is that we would serve the least among us much better if stopped using THEIR money on foolish things like convention center hotels, bridges by name brand architects, expensive trains when buses work as well, and other so-called investments that never seem to translate to improved tax revenues. Without increased revenues, nobody gets any help.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@anon The abundance of cranes indicates that as well. Not the feathered, flying kind.

Take a gander around Uptown.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@anon Close in prices in certain neighborhoods reflect a very small demand being much greater than an even smaller supply. 100 thousand people per year will move to this area every year and at best only a few per cent of that number look for real urban areas. Uptown, as an urban Potemkin Village for people that in their hearts really dislike urban, does not qualify

Joel Kotkin's point for years is that the urban resurgence is only noticable as it is a tiny change in a tinier base. He consistently states that ballyhooing that "victory" detracts from understanding the real red flag of the last ten years, the wholesale evacuation of urban areas by middle class families with school age children of all races. Dallas has seen that impact and it shows no signs of slowing. No, it is not because we knocked down a few rathole apartments, a common excuse.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@DMZ3 When you look at the electoral map of Texas, the majority of the state shows red, but there are blocks of blue that correspond to all the major cities.

rightsaidfred
rightsaidfred

No thanks, I can't handle all the traffic out there - I'll stay 'inside the loop' where I can keep my sanity.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

@chasd00 Going to explode? There used to be sorghum grown where now reside parking lots, hotels and restaurants. It will only get more dense. Think west. 1709 used to be a 2 lane road. Roanoke was a blinking red light. Solana was a Holstein farm. They can backfill the gaps going east between here and the river, but the foundations are already built. 

fistofsouth
fistofsouth

@MikeDunlap Sure thin Mike.  We have UTD and Rice, the Silicon Prairie (who do you think invented the integrated circuit?), Dallas (Alpha -) and Houston (Beta =) are Tier 1.Now you tell me when Cali gets a Senior Military College or a city with more than 10 Fortune 500 companies or shit even a Whataburger.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@MikeDunlap - Malibu is just as exclusive now as it was when I lived there. The trick is to keep the yahoos out, dude. If they liberalize Stanford acceptance requirements like we do immigration, your bubble pops.

rightsaidfred
rightsaidfred

But within those districts there are certain schools that whites will attend and others they will not attend.  If you really want to see segregated schools, check out HPISD.

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@anon

And I too can see the appeal. Cheaper stuff and segregated schools, mainly. The appeal certainly isn't any serious interest in, say, art, great public spaces, intellectual life, etc. You know, the stuff of truly great cities.

Collin County is a joke. (And I am hardly alone in laughing at it; especially among people that live in cities.) I get why people live there. But that doesn't change the fact that it's a joke... on many levels.

James080
James080

@MikeWestEast Are you trying to say that it was wrong to spend $120,000,000 on a five acre DECK PARK? Why even Jim Schutze thinks DECK PARK is a really cool place, and as we all know, every on in Dallas is desperate to be cool.

James080
James080

@Montemalone @DMZ3 So that's where all the women, Hispanics, blacks and "young" people live. All 47% of them crammed into those tiny blue squares on the map.

anon
anon

@Montemalone @DMZ3 That's how it works when you look at any state. If you didn't know where major cities in Ohio or Pennsylvania were located and that they corresponded to the blue specks on the map, you'd wonder how on earth the states went for Obama. 

rightsaidfred
rightsaidfred

Untrue, there are plenty of people in DISD who can afford private schools but choose the public schools. If you live in East Dallas or parts of North Dallas, you would know that..

James080
James080

@rightsaidfred Which schools and why? HPISD is likely lily white, but its not a suburb, its surrounded by Dallas. The narrative Dunlap started was bashing suburbs and Collin county as "aggressively segregated," which is absurd. DISD is minority segregated because virtually anyone with the means to do, (white, black, Asian, Hispanic) pays for a private school or flees to the suburbs where the schools don't suck.

rubbercow
rubbercow

@fistofsouth @MikeDunlap alpha by whom? People from Oklahoma and Arkansas?

fistofsouth
fistofsouth

@MikeDunlap First; Dallas is rated as an Alpha - World City, we are great and have been for decades.Second; please clarify what you mean by "segregated schools".

anon
anon

@MikeDunlap Stop using the term "truly great cities" if you want to be taken seriously. The new Perot Museum, the new expansion at the Arboretum, the deck park. All the things that Jim derides as Park Cities trinkets are the things that are pulling Dallas into the ranks of great cities, and I mean that as a person who moved here to be close to family, in spite of my preference for those other cities where I made a lot more money to do the same work. Dallas is changing for the better, very rapidly.

James080
James080

@observist @James080 @Montemalone @DMZ3 Not hardly.  But that is the stereotype Schutze and liberal commentators like to sell. If you believe 48% of American voters (Romney's votes) are angry white men, you likely also believe the presidents 50.5% of the vote was a mandate, rather than a slim victory.

observist
observist topcommenter

@James080 @Montemalone @DMZ3 Yup, and the vast red spaces are full of walled compounds with armed, angry white men on the ramparts, watching the horizon through binoculars, looking, hoping, for brown people to shoot.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...