Population growth is occurring more rapidly on the fringe of America’s metropolitan areas than anywhere else.
The nation’s 428 metro-outlying counties expanded by 16.8 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to an On Numbers analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau data. The metro-outlying counties, taken as a group, had 21.5 million residents in 2010, up from 18.4 million 10 years earlier.
Metro-outlying counties are located on the outer edges of the nation’s metropolitan areas. They have economic ties to the cores of their areas but are more sparsely settled.
Valencia County, just south of the Albuquerque metro area, added 10,400 residents between 2000 and 2010, an increase of 15.72 percent.
The economic hubs of the country’s metro areas — the 672 metro-central counties — also grew at a brisk pace of 10.3 percent during the past decade. But they still trailed their outlying neighbors by more than six percentage points.
As the major city in New Mexico, and particularly central New Mexico, it is great to see Albuquerque and Albuquerque’s suburbs and surrounding towns grow.
In contrast to Valencia County’s 16% growth, Bernalillo County (where Albuquerque is located) grew over 19%, and Sandoval County (where Rio Rancho is located) grew over 45%. Way to go Rio Rancho!