Welcome to MetroTrends - the Urban Institute's report card on how metropolitan America is faring.

Here you'll find the latest information on social and economic trends in urban America and get seasoned perspectives on what they mean for workers, families, businesses, and neighborhoods.

Our aim is to fuel evidence-based debate about the nationwide impacts of:

  • recession and recovery
  • critical differences among metropolitan regions
  • persistent or emerging disparities among population groups

As economic stresses renew public interest in government policy, citizens and policymakers need timely, reliable information to make sensible decisions, administer programs effectively, vote, and help their own communities go forward.

Raw data certainly isn't scarce, but the right information in the right form has been—until now. Too often, data and analysis that zero in on single issues—like foreclosures, joblessness, crime—miss the cumulative impacts on communities hit hard by today's financial and economic crises. And most readily available indicators have told only one national story, even though conditions and trends vary widely from place to place. Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles, and Boston share some problems but also face unique challenges.

MetroTrends features up-to-date indicators from numerous national data sources on conditions and trends in the nation's metropolitan regions. And we offer expert commentary on interlocking trends in:

  • crime
  • employment growth
  • mortgage lending and house affordability
  • earnings and material hardship
  • immigration and diversity and
  • the well-being of children in the top 100 metropolitan areas nationwide.

Check back for information updates, including new data, additional topics, featured metros, and fresh commentary. And please join the discussion about where our metropolitan areas are headed and how to boost their economic success, livability, opportunity, and security.

Visit the Urban Institute web site for the latest economic and social policy research.


Ford Foundation logo The development of this web site is supported by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation.

Data, charts, and maps prepared by Randy Rosso, Molly Scott, Zach McDade, Chris Narducci, Kaitlin Franks, Karina Fortuny, Samuel Hall, Adam Kent, and Samantha Phong; editorial and web site support by Bonnie Turpen, Dana Campbell, Kathy Courrier, Douglas Murray, Will Bradbury, and David Capriccioso.

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Contact Information

Urban InstituteThe Urban Institute
2100 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
Contact Us 202-833-7200


Barbara Butrica
Senior Research Associate
Income and Benefits Policy Center

Meagan Cahill,
Research Associate
Justice Policy Center

Ajay Chaudry
Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Olivia Golden
Institute Fellow
Labor, Human Services and Population

Harry Holzer
Institute Fellow
Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Richard W. Johnson
Senior Fellow
Income and Benefits Policy Center

Genevieve M. Kenney
Senior Fellow
Healthy Policy Center

G. Thomas Kingsley
Senior Fellow
Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center

Robert I. Lerman
Institute Fellow
Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Jennifer Ehrle Macomber
Senior Research Associate
Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Kathryn L.S. Pettit
Senior Research Associate
Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center

Kim Rueben
Senior Fellow
Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

Margaret Simms
Director, Low Income Working Families Project
Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Margery Austin Turner
Vice President for Research
The Urban Institute

Sheila R. Zedlewski
Center Director
Income and Benefits Policy Center

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