Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Vern Baxter

Second Advisor

D'Lane Compton

Third Advisor

Catherine Lowe


This study examines 2000 and 2010 Census data to determine the resettlement patterns of urban and suburban residents in 23 American metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Previous research discusses the development of an affluent suburbia, leaving postindustrial cities in decline. However, recent literature suggests the reurbanization of postindustrial cities by the creative class, a Return to the City movement fueled by middle class entrepreneurs, artists, and technocrats. Alongside reurbanization are increases in poverty, and racial and ethnic enclaves in suburbia. The literature shows these trends as two separate, independent processes. This study investigates the relationship between these processes within MSAs. Consistent with existing literature, this study finds that from 2000 to 2010, there are increases in poverty and racial and ethnic diversity in the suburbs, and increases in middle and upper class white populations within central cities. This study reveals quantitative data concerning the future of American urban and suburban demography.


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