July 5, 2016
At one time, upper-income families preferred suburbia, with the house, car and yard. The trend, however, is shifting, with wealthy college graduates moving into the core of major American cities, and lower-income families ending up in the suburbs.
This mirrors what happened in the late 19th century, during which the wealthy lived in the hearts of cities, while the working-class poor lived on the periphery. Proximity to work and shopping was important for the upper crust, especially as the only transportation option was horse-drawn railways.
Jeff Lin, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said today’s downtowns are easy to navigate, which is important for those tired of commuting. Additionally, upper-income families can afford the more expensive downtown housing that puts them within walking distance, or a short commute, of their jobs.