NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.S. Cities Count an Embarrassment of Riches

June 13, 2000

Not all that long ago, public commentators were bewailing "the plight of America's cities." However, there was good news for the cities at this year's annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Seattle.

Two reports released at the conference underscored the good times cities are now experiencing.

  • A report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development made the case that urban areas are "enjoying the longest and strongest economic expansion in our history."
  • It says a record 51 percent of urban dwellers now own their own homes -- although that is 20 points below home ownership rates of suburbanites.
  • The other study ranked 47 American metropolitan areas among the top 100 economies in the world -- with Chicago's gross domestic product being greater than that of Switzerland.

Source: Timothy Egan, "Urban Mayors Share the (Not Unwelcome) Burden of Coping With Prosperity," New York Times, June 13, 2000.


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