Discovering Urbanism has linked to the newly-released American Community Survey data. The data provide our first clear look at the changes that have taken place in urban areas since the 2000 census. An outstanding mapping tool created by the New York Times provides the extremely useful option of viewing changes in median income and median home value, by census tract, since 2000 (but be warned: it may prove highly addictive).
Turning the lens on major metropolitan areas reveals that the trend toward reinvestment in urban cores, which was first visible in the 1980 census, has continued if not accelerated. Just as stark is the pattern of slow decline in the surrounding second and third-ring suburbs, representing neighborhoods laid out the post-1945 era. With new buyers either lured to larger new homes on the urban periphery or to bungalows in revitalizing streetcar suburbs, these neighborhoods have attracted little attention. The "slummification" of the suburbs has not escaped the attention of urban commentators, but these maps are a fascinating way to visualize the process as it takes place.