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Boomburb is a neologism principally promoted by Robert E. Lang of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech for a large, rapidly growing city that remains essentially suburban in character even as it reaches populations more typical of urban core cities, it describes a relatively recent phenomenon in a North American context.


Boomburbs are defined as incorporated places in top 50 Metropolitan areas in the United States having more than 100,000 residents that are not the core cities in their metropolitan areas and have maintained double-digit rates of population growth (10% or more) over consecutive censuses between 1970 and 2000.[1]

As of the 2000 Census, the United States contained 54 boomburbs, which accounted for about half of the 1990s growth in cities with between 100,000 and 500,000 residents.[2]

List of boomburbs[edit]

Robert E. Lang of Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech lists 54 boomburbs as following:[3]

The boomburbs listed above are based on the populations of cities determined by and definitions of metropolitan areas used in the 2000 Census. Boomburbs occur mostly in the Southwest, with almost half in California alone.


  1. ^ Lang, Robert E. and Arthur C. Nelson. "The Boomburb Downtown". p.2. Alexandria, Virginia: Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.
  2. ^ "The Boomburb Downtown". p.3.
  3. ^ Boomburbs; Smart Growth at the Fringe? p.2. Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. January 29, 2005.


  • Lang, Robert E. and Jennifer B. LeFurgy (2007). Boomburbs: The Rise of America's Accidental Cities. Brookings Institution Press.
  • Lang, Robert and Patrick Simmons (2001). "Boomburbs: The Emergence of Large, Fast-Growing Suburban Cities in the United States." Fannie Mae Foundation Census Note 06.
  • Lang, Robert (2003). "Are the Boomburbs Still Booming?" Fannie Mae Foundation Census Note 15.
  • Knox, Paul and Linda McCarthy (2005). Urbanization: An Introduction to Urban Geography. Pearson/Prentice Hall. Second Edition. pp. 163, 164, 560.
  • Hayden, Dolores (2004). A Field Guide to Sprawl. W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 26–27, 118.

External links[edit]