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metro population estimates

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I tried estimating 2030 population for some metros based on estimated 2002 populations using new metro definitions, and growth rates from 1990 to 2000. Obvioulsy not perfect, rates could change, definitions too, but it indicates a lot of 10M+ metros by then, and some changes in rankings too.

BOTTOM to TOP in 2030

city est pop gr rate 2010 2020 2030

SD 3,230,000 0.126 3,636,980 4,095,239 4,611,240

Char 2,330,000 0.290 3,005,700 3,877,353 5,001,785

Min/SP 3,690,000 0.169 4,313,610 5,042,610 5,894,811

Tamp 3,825,000 0.159 4,433,175 5,138,050 5,955,000

Detroit 5,590,000 0.052 5,880,680 6,186,475 6,508,172

Seattle 3,930,000 0.197 4,704,210 5,630,939 6,740,234

Philly 6,930,000 0.050 7,276,500 7,640,325 8,022,341

Denver 4,200,000 0.304 5,476,800 7,141,747 9,312,838

Bos/Pro 7,850,000 0.067 8,375,950 8,937,139 9,535,927

SJ/SF/O 7,945,000 0.126 8,946,070 10,073,275 11,342,507

Miami 6,410,000 0.214 7,781,740 9,447,032 11,468,697

Houston 5,925,000 0.252 7,418,100 9,287,461 11,627,901

Wa/Ba 9,050,000 0.131 10,235,550 11,576,407 13,092,916

Phoenix 4,355,000 0.453 6,327,815 9,194,315 13,359,340

Chicago 10,150,000 0.111 11,276,650 12,528,358 13,919,006

DFW 6,840,000 0.293 8,844,120 11,435,447 14,786,033

Atlanta 6,055,000 0.389 8,410,395 11,682,039 16,226,352

LA 19,350,000 0.127 21,807,450 24,576,996 27,698,275

NYC 22,740,000 0.084 24,650,160 26,720,773 28,965,318

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I couldn't get the table to line up very well - sorry. 1st column city name; 2nd present pop. 3rd 1990-2000 growth rate; 4th 2010 pop est; 5th 2020 pop est; 6th 2030 pop est.

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Interesting info. According to the info, Detroit will have the lowest growth rates of any of the metros listed. Apparently they are forcasting the same low growth rate we've had for years :(. I could see population growth picking up again though...2030 is a long way off.

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I used the growth rate from the 1990s as given by the census for each city and assumed it would remain the same. This can't be right, but anything else is a guess too. I agree that there's a chance some of the older cities will begin to see greater growth rate as sprawl clogs some of the new cities, and revitalized downtowns and better mass transit makes some of the old ones more competitive again.

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"Better mass transit"....that would really help out Detroit. The city & the streetcar suburbs have realized how much it would help the region. Unfortunately much of the metro is controlled by pro-sprawl people....people who embrace sprawl & freeways. It makes me sick.

I'd really like to see many of the cities in the rustbelt boom again. I think Detroit is poised for a major boom. The recession hit the region especially hard, but there are a lot of things going on in the metro now. I hope the same holds true for other cities in the rustbelt as well.

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Atlanta at 16 million? This place would be insane. It's a nice thought, but there no way Atlanta will continue to grow like the boom it had during the 90s. I don't think the city could support it even if it did happen.

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It's hard to imagine Atlanta that big, and maybe it never will be. These are just some longish range estimaes based on the past. LA was a small city not that long ago. Even if Atlanta's growth rate trends toward 10% per decade (like LA) it will be very big in 30 to 50 years.

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It's hard to imagine Atlanta that big, and maybe it never will be. These are just some longish range estimaes based on the past. LA was a small city not that long ago. Even if Atlanta's growth rate trends toward 10% per decade (like LA) it will be very big in 30 to 50 years.

I completely understand. I'm sure Atlanta will continue to grow at a nice pace for at least the forseeable future. As long as their are jobs here and the desire to move here, it will continue. I just see the grow rate slowing from the 90-2000 growth rate. But who knows, it may continue.

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I think it's very possible with the current growth rate that by 2030-2040 or sooner, ATL-GSP-CLT could be linked together by growth. Atlanta's suburbs are only, what, 50 or 60 miles SW of Anderson now?

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Interesting data. What about Ohio cities? Kinda feeling left out ;-(.

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Thanks monsoon. IMO the error gets big after 10 or 15 years but its fun to estimate. I think growth of cities will drift toard 10% for fast growing large cities and 5 to 10% for older slower growing large cities. Changes like rising sea levels may have a big effect. Personally, I doubt LV will ever be even 10M. Phoenix may make it, but eventually there will have to be inexpensive desalination of seawater for the desert cities to grow really large. Miami may be too hemmed in by swamp and ocean to get to 10M too. I think Boston and Providence will be one metro by the 2010 census, certainly by 2020. There are others that will merge as well I'm sure.

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I think it's very possible with the current growth rate that by 2030-2040 or sooner, ATL-GSP-CLT could be linked together by growth. Atlanta's suburbs are only, what, 50 or 60 miles SW of Anderson now?

Yeah, about 50-60 miles for the very distance burbs. I think in the near future we will link with Athens and Macon (both almost already there). In 50 years, I suppose it could happen. South Carolina is going to wind up like NJ, a big suburb for several other metro areas.

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I really don't see Las Vegas larger than NYC, it's just unfathamable...at best

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I really don't see Las Vegas larger than NYC, it's just unfathamable...at best
Yep. There's no way it would be able to sustain its growth rate for the next 47 years. I personally don't see what's so great about it. Why would anyone want to move to the middle of the Nevada desert? But some people obviously have other opinions, seeing how it's growing so fast.

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I think that Las Vegas could easily become larger than New York because it has so much room for expansion and has Lake Meade for an almost endless water supply. Plus Las Vegas is starting to get a lot of hi-tech jobs.

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I'll file the LV at 31 million in the "anything is possible" category. On the other hand, I think the concept of Dallas, Atlanta and Houston becoming like LA is possible.

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I really don't think that LV can sustain its growth rate for that long. It's possible, but I really don't see it overtaking NYC by 2050. If it does grow that much, I hope they will build up....there's enough sprawl there already!

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How did I miss this thread. Well anyway I think LA might be the largest Metro in the US. But by 2030 they will prolly combine Philly and NYC

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Those are only using current percentage growth. 30 years from now is almost impossible to predict. But given growth slowdowns as the population distribution in the country balances out, here's what I think will happen in 2020.

NYC - 24 million

LA - 22 million

Chicago - 12 million

DC/Baltimore - 9.5 million

Dallas/Ft Worth - 8.4 million

SF/Oakland/SJ - 8.1 million

Atlanta - 6.7 million

Philadelphia - 6.3 million

Houston - 6.2 million

Miami - 6.2 million

Boston - 6.1 million

Detroit - 6 million

Everyone else: Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis, will be trying to push 5 million.

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Boston will gobble up Providence's 1.6 million by 2010. However, I don't see Boston's current Metro seeing vast growth in the next 20 years. Steady, but it won't have any kind of surge.

As for Las Vegas' 'endless' water supply. Las Vegas already has water problems as it is. In order for Las Vegas to grow, the residents need to change their entire attitude about water. You can't continue to have these people flocking from water rich areas like the Northeast and Midwest, to the desert keeping their same attitudes and practices of water use.

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Interesting predictions. I can't speak for other metros, but I think your prediction for metro Detroit's population is about right. According to a website I just took a look at, the metro's projected population in the year 2025 is 6,191,000. It really depends on if we are able to diversify our economy & attract good paying jobs again. Right now that is not really happening, but if it did, I'm sure the growth rates would increase.

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Boston will gobble up Providence's 1.6 million by 2010. However, I don't see Boston's current Metro seeing vast growth in the next 20 years. Steady, but it won't have any kind of surge.

As for Las Vegas' 'endless' water supply. Las Vegas already has water problems as it is. In order for Las Vegas to grow, the residents need to change their entire attitude about water. You can't continue to have these people flocking from water rich areas like the Northeast and Midwest, to the desert keeping their same attitudes and practices of water use.

If that's the case, then Boston should move up to a fight with the Bay Area.

Boston is stabilized as well as Philly and SF. Miami will be next. These are metro areas that won't see robust population growth because they've reached critical mass as it is. Which is a good thing. You guys can concentrate on improving what you already have. ;)

Atlanta, LA, Chicago to some extent, Dallas, are going to keep growing since they have one or more of the following factors: Hub status in their regions, physical expansion room, cores that have not realized their potential, immigration.

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IMO Boston's population doesn't grow that fast because it is aleady dense and because of the cold winters. There's plenty of room for more people in the metro, but the housing is very expensive near the city.

The suburbs in NH and on the cape grow at 20+% per decade, the same as many southern cities (the cape is not officially part of the metro either although many people go there every weekend and lots of weekdays too). Boston will continue to add 400 to 500 K per decade when it officially merges with providnce which in actual fact it already has. It will be surpassed by Atlanta and Dallas because they grow much faster, and have done so for a long time. Its doubtful this will change quickly.

Many people would be surprised that DT boston is growing rapidly with many new buildings U/C and proposed. The Seaport district is an entirely new area with proposals for 10M+sqft and continuous constrction going on. Providence, Manchester and many smaller cities are growing as well with buildings, airport, and residential projects.

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Miami's metro hasn't reached critical mass yet, so it will have a lot more than 6.2 million by 2030. While the city of Miami and its inner suburbs are built out, there's plenty of land left in Palm Beach County, Western Broward and southern Miami-Dade, near homestead.

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