The Realignment of America: The native-born are leaving "hip" cities for the heartland
In 1950, when I was in kindergarten in Detroit, the city had a population of (rounded off) 1,850,000. Today the latest census estimate for Detroit is 886,000, less than half as many. In 1950, the population of the U.S. was 150 million. Today the latest census estimate for the nation is 301 million, more than twice as many. People in America move around. But not just randomly.
The nation's center of gravity is shifting: Dallas is now larger than San Francisco, Houston is now larger than Detroit, Atlanta is now larger than Boston, Charlotte is now larger than Milwaukee. State capitals that were just medium-sized cities dominated by government employees in the 1950s--Sacramento, Austin, Raleigh, Nashville, Richmond--are now booming centers of high-tech and other growing private-sector businesses. San Antonio has more domestic than immigrant inflow even though the border is only three hours' drive away. The Interior Boomtowns generated 38% of the nation's population growth in 2000-06.
Population Change and Distribution: 1990 to 2000
Census 2000 counted 281.4 million people in the United States, a 13.2 percent increase from the 1990 Census population of 248.7 million. Population growth from 1990 to 2000 varied geographically, with large population increases in some areas and little growth or decline in others.