Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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May 24, 2013

Goshen has growth spurt

Population in Maple City eclipses 32,000 for first time, nationally an urban renewal is underway

Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman doesn’t have the magic bullet as to why Goshen is over the 32,000 mark in population for the first time.

“It’s a great city,” said Kauffman. “There are a lot of things to like about Goshen.”

In recent Census population numbers, Goshen saw a 1.2 percent increase from July 2010 to July 2012. The population in the Maple City was 31,675 in 2010.

The Goshen population now stands at 32,064.

While Kauffman was pleased with the news, he’d like it broken down further.

“I don’t know what kind of population it is. Is it young people? Latinos?” asked Kauffman.

While the mayor can’t pinpoint the reason for the bump in population, he said the city will continue to concentrate on improving quality of life and improving the aesthetic of neighborhoods.

“You also look at factors people will look at when moving here,” Kauffman said. “We have a great downtown. Great medical community and great schools.”

Kauffman also noted that the most recent Census numbers don’t take into account recent annexations that will add around 1,000 more people.

Annexations, including Ashton Pines Apartments behind Meijer and Clover Trails near Goshen Middle School, were areas Kauffman said the city always planned on annexing and the opportunity for more annexation remains.

“We love Goshen,” Kauffman said. “And we want other people to love Goshen. So it’s important to know how people perceive our community.”

Across the U.S.

Nationally, the nation’s largest cities are growing at a strong rate.

Big cities surpassed the rate of growth of their surrounding suburbs at an even faster clip, a sign of America’s continuing preference for urban living after the economic downturn quelled enthusiasm for less-crowded expanses.

Farther-out suburbs known as exurbs saw their growth slip to 0.35 percent, the lowest in more than a decade.

Economists generally had played down the recent city boom as an aberration, predicting that young adults in the recovering economy would soon be back on the move after years of staying put in big cities. But the widening gains for cities in 2012 indicate that young people — as well as would-be retirees seeking quieter locales — are playing it safe for a while longer in dense urban cores, where jobs may be easier to find and keep.

Prior to 2011, suburbs had consistently outpaced big cities since 1920, with the rise of the automobile.

The new census estimates are a snapshot of population growth as of July 2012. The Associated Press sought additional analysis from William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, and Kenneth Johnson, a senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire.

Cities with booming regional economies continue to see the biggest gains — from Seattle and San Francisco to Austin, Texas, Raleigh, N.C., and Washington, D.C., locales seeing a burst of new apartment construction.

“Cities have become more appealing to young people, with more things to do and places to see,” said Mark Obrinsky, chief economist at the National Multi Housing Council, a Washington-based trade group. “Many of the cities are committing themselves to regrowth and development, and in newer cities like Dallas we’re beginning to see new restaurants, bars and apartments in the downtown areas that put it a bit closer to being a 24-hour city.”

He noted that the division between city and suburbs is blurring, too. There’s no longer a clear line between an economic center where people work and suburban bedroom communities. Both can be home to major companies and residences.

Census data show that many closer-in suburbs linked to a city with public transit or well-developed roadways are benefiting from strong city growth, while far-flung areas near the metropolitan edge are fizzling after heady growth during the mid-decade housing boom.

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