American Cities Project

Most Americans either reside or work in cities, and the policies, programs, and services of those places touch people’s lives directly. They are vital to Americans’ quality of life, and whether cities succeed or fail will have an outsized impact on the nation’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity. 

In the aftermath of the recession, many cities are contending with fiscal challenges, including lower property tax revenues and cuts in state and federal aid, as well as stubbornly high levels of poverty and unemployment. At the same time, they are grappling with profound demographic changes and economic shifts that predate the downturn. Federal and state lawmakers continue to debate major policy changes that will have significant local repercussions.

Pew’s American cities project conducts original research that analyzes and compares the biggest cities in the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas. We use that information to engage local, state, and federal leaders as they make policy choices that profoundly affect localities and those who reside there.


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