WELCOME BACK: New census estimates show that most of the nation's largest cities posted strong population growth for a second straight year, reversing the decades-long growth of suburbs.

THE DETAILS: 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.

HOT SPOTS: Cities with booming regional economies and new apartment construction continue to see the biggest gains — from Seattle and San Francisco to Austin, Texas, Raleigh, N.C., and Washington, D.C.

 

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