New report shows urban ‘donut’ shifting

New report shows urban 'donut' shiftingGreg Toppo, USA TODAY

March 3, 2015

The long-standing urban-suburban divide in education, income, race and other characteristics is being turned on its head as college-educated Millennials crowd into U.S. cities, new research shows.

Putting urban neighborhoods under a microscope, a University of Virginia researcher has concluded that the traditional urban “donut” pattern — a ring of thriving suburbs surrounding a decaying city center — is being replaced by a new pattern: a thriving urban core surrounded by a ring of suburbs with older housing, older residents and more poverty.

“For most cities, the downtown was the poorest, least educated place” a generation or two ago, said Luke Juday, a research and policy analyst at U.Va.’s Weldon Cooper Center Demographics Research Group. Now, he said, it’s the opposite. Call it a “new donut,” he suggested.

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