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cityboi

America's largest overlooked cities

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I'll have to say the first city that comes to mind is:

Virginia Beach

population -439,467

(combined)metro - 1, 701,083

This region doesnt even have a major league sports team. While Atlanta, GA has a much larger metro population, Virginia Beach actually has a larger city population than the city of Atlanta!

The whole region is actually several cities clustered together as if it were all one city. There is Suffolk, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News and Hampton

population

Virginia Beach - 439,467

Hampton - 146,878

Norfolk - 242,727

Portsmouth - 99, 617

Newport News - 181,647

all these cities are really like one big city and you dont know when you've left one city and entered another. If all these cities combined under one city name, the population would be a whopping

1,110,336

It amazing that the Hampton Roads area is so over looked the way it is and its larger than many well know metros and no NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL here?

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Most people recognize the Hampton Roads metro, as Norfolk, which is home to the largest naval bases in the country. Virginia Beach is nothing more than an overgrown suburb. Kind of like Mesa, AZ or Hialeah, FL.

I also think a couple of those cities, namely Norfolk & Portsmouth are discussing merging together.

The city I would nominate as being overlooked is Grand Rapids, MI. While it only has a population of 197,800 its metro population is 1,088,514 meaning its roughly in the same category as of Birmingham, Jacksonville, Memphis, & Richmond. It has a pretty clean and vibrant downtown also.

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Virginia Beach is its own city. I dont know why Norfolk seems like its larger. Maybe because its the region's city of commerce. But I dont know if I would classify VA Beach as a suburb though

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Nofolk seems larger, because its historically the primary city of the metro. That's the reason it has a larger core and larger concentration of buisness and industry there. Virginia Beach covers a lot of more land and now has a larger population, but its still primarily a large bedroom community for Norfolk. It doesn't even have a real historical downtown of any size. VA Beach wouldn't nearly be the size it is today if the central cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth were not around. On the other hand the other two would probably be larger if people didn't start heading out into the suburbs "or in other words.....Virginia Beach" after WWII.

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I read somewhere that VA Beach is trying to build a real downtown. I saw computer generated models that showed towers in the central business district. Som maybe VA Beach is trying to become a city of commerce.

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Guest donaltopablo

I also agree that Hampton Roads is overlooked. It's an awesome area from what I've have gathered during my visits there are business trips and a couple of vacations. I think part of the reason it's overlooked is it's large economy based on the military (even though it's more diverse than that, not many people know it). Also, it's a collection of 'smallish' cities that make up a larger metro area. This gives it impressive size, but not necesarily the name value of a metro anchored by one larger city.

I'd also toss out Richmond and Hunstville (rather smallish too, but definitely growing with a surprisingly diverse economy).

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I read somewhere that VA Beach is trying to build a real downtown. I saw computer generated models that showed towers in the central business district. Som maybe VA Beach is trying to become a city of commerce.

Town-Center-02-20-2004-wide.JPG

Its a start, but its probably too late to change the pattern of development in the metro. Town Center is coming along nicely, but it lacks the centralization, waterfront location, history and infrastructure to become a true major center for the area's population. But it will definately be a lot better than what was there before.

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Didn't Norfolk used to be the largest city in the Hampton Roads and Virginia itself before Virginia Beach came up in the early 90s and knocked Norfolk down to second place? Norfolk doesn't seem to be growing at all either. Why is that? Compare that to San Jose knocking San Francisco to second place city in the Bay, even though Frisco managed to still be the hub of the bay after all that time. Kansas City, KS overtaken by Overland Park, KS as the second largest.

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^VA Beach covers over twice the amount of land mass as Norfolk has been completely built out for decades now and really has nowhere to grow. Its basically the inner city of the Hampton Roads.

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Guest donaltopablo

Another large overlooked west coast city would be Sacramento. I think it's near 2 million people, but when you share a state with San Fran, LA, and San Diego, it's a little bit harder to get noticed.

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I think Houston is overlooked alot. For being one of the largest cities in America you really don't hear much about it in the mainstream compared with the other large cities: NYC, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia.

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Jacksonville is probably the most overlooked city in Florida in terms of metro. It is the largest city in the state with 750,000, but does not have a big metro population (1.1 million). It ranks fifth after Orlando, Palm Beach County, Tampa Bay and Miami/Fort Lauderdale because these bigger four have bigger metro populations. On the contrary, the cities itself have smaller populations: Miami with 365,000, Tampa 305,000, St Peterburg 270,000. I wish Miami stretched its city limits to cover unincorporated parts of Miami-Dade County that are urbanized so that Miami could be the largest city instead of Jax. It's the only metro area to have a metropolitan government, anyway.

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An interesting point. Metro Dade is for all intents and purposes run as a city. It's population would be well over a million I believe.

For overlooked Florida cities, look towards the Melbourne/Palm Bay area. It's overshadowed by Orlando but has a lot going on.

Also the Naples/Ft Myers area gets a bad rap as a retirement area. It definitely is, but it also has a growing population of families and young people. Their job growth and wages are also very good, from what I remember. Much like other places in Florida, they're making the transition from resort town/retirement village to a living and breathing city.

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I think Houston is overlooked alot. For being one of the largest cities in America you really don't hear much about it in the mainstream compared with the other large cities: NYC, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia.

I agree, Houston being the 4th largest city in the country, I think it gets overlooked as being important like the three in front of it and Boston, Philly, SF and sometimes even Dallas.

For this discussion, I think Austin and San Antonio get overlooked. San Antonio has replaced Dallas as the second largest city in Texas and has over a million people in the city core. When you here Austin all people want to say is home of the Longhorns.

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San Antonio has replaced Dallas as the second largest city in Texas and has over a million people in the city core.

I don't think so. Dallas is still the second largest city in Texas, I believe. Census estimates are not always accurate. The 1998 Estimates listed San Antonio as the 8th largest in the US, with 1.12 million and Dallas was listed as the 9th, with 1.11 million. But Dallas was still listed as the 8th largest in the 2000 census, with 1,188,000 and San Antonio ranking 9th with 1,145,000.

San Antonio could be overtaken by Austin the way it is growing in the next 25 years. :lol:

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I don't think so. Dallas is still the second largest city in Texas, I believe. Census estimates are not always accurate. The 1998 Estimates listed San Antonio as the 8th largest in the US, with 1.12 million and Dallas was listed as the 9th, with 1.11 million. But Dallas was still listed as the 8th largest in the 2000 census, with 1,188,000 and San Antonio ranking 9th with 1,145,000.

San Antonio could be overtaken by Austin the way it is growing in the next 25 years. :lol:

Census estimates are not accurate, but they are a well educated guess. If you want to use the latest figures for an area, thats what you should use.

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I don't think so. Dallas is still the second largest city in Texas, I believe. Census estimates are not always accurate. The 1998 Estimates listed San Antonio as the 8th largest in the US, with 1.12 million and Dallas was listed as the 9th, with 1.11 million. But Dallas was still listed as the 8th largest in the 2000 census, with 1,188,000 and San Antonio ranking 9th with 1,145,000.

San Antonio could be overtaken by Austin the way it is growing in the next 25 years. :lol:

True and if Austin keeps growing, they may actual combine as a metroplex. I have friends who live in Austin and travel to San Antonio every other weekend, just to kick it.

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Census estimates are not accurate, but they are a well educated guess. If you want to use the latest figures for an area, thats what you should use.

I was going by the last census which was 2003 and had San Antonio in fron to Dallas, now of course San Antonio can't touch Dallas on Metro or core strength.

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I believe the Grand Rapids metropolitan area is the most over looked region in the upper Midwest. Sandwiched between two juggernauts Chicago and Detroit, and the Grand Rapids- Muskegon-Holland area has been overlooked as an important economic, educational, and political hub even though the numbers prove this urbanized region to be just as important.

Population 2000 1999-2000 % Change

Grand Rapids: 1,088,514 42.48 %

Chicago: 8,272,768 -30.88 %

Detroit: 4,441,551 - 1.29 %

Cleveland: 2,250,871 -6.89 %

Columbus 1,500,741 36.28 %

Job Growth 1970

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Grand Rapids is definately overlooked, thanks to its location between two much larger metros. With that said, GR is poised to move to the next level in the next few years. At times it has a small town feel, but it is actually a fairly large and growing area. In fact, it is the fastest growing metro in Michigan.

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Census estimates are not accurate, but they are a well educated guess. If you want to use the latest figures for an area, thats what you should use.

I don't know what the population is like in either of the Texas cities. But I do beleive that Dallas is the coolest city in the state of Texas, followed by Austin and then Houston.

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