MetroTrends reports on state of metropolitan America, including New Haven

Posted by on Jun 9, 2010

MetroTrends is the Urban Institute’s new report card on metropolitan America. The new site, still in development, compares social and economic trends in urban America and provides seasoned perspectives on what they mean for workers, families, businesses, and neighborhoods.

The site is currently featuring data for the 100 top metro areas, including New Haven. Data can be compared to other metro areas and the U.S. average to get a picture of how our region is faring.

For example, in the site’s calculations of health insurance rates for the nonelderly, Greater New Haven compares favorably to the United States as a whole, and to other Northeast metro areas.   But other data shows significant stress.  Like other metro regions throughout the country, the New Haven area has seen a steep drop in the number of manufacturing jobs: from 40,000 in 2000 to about 29,000 in 2009.  This compares favorably to industrial core cities like Providence, Rhode Island, however, which saw a huge decline from 95,000 to 52,000 manufacturing  jobs.

The site’s HMDA (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act) data are particularly interesting, showing a familiar pattern in New Haven and adjacent metropolitan areas.  During the mid-2000s, many home loans were issued at very high cost, particularly those loans given to African-Americans and Hispanics.  In 2005, 57% of loans given to African-Americans and 54% of loans given to Hispanics were considered “high-cost” loans, compared to just 18% of loans given to White borrowers.  Those numbers have fallen in 2008 to 19%, 12%, and 4%, respectively.

As another example of how metropolitan data can be compared, the chart below shows the House Price Index (HPI) as calculated for selected metropolitan areas in the New Haven area in 2000, the middle of 2006 (the approximate peak of the housing market in the Northeast) and the end of 2009.  The Greater New Haven metro area so far has been trending closely with the Northeast as a whole.


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