washingtonpost.com: Growing Pains

Further Explorations
These previous Post stories provide perspective on regional development.

Part 1 · Part 2 · Part 3 · Part 4

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See how they grow. Click on a county or city to jump to the most recent U.S. Census county profile. Or compare population growth rates with these comparative statistics for all area counties.

Part 1: The impact of sprawl.

Where the two ends meet. The Washington and Richmond suburbs have grown out so far that researchers see them as part of the East Coast megalopolis.

The trouble with town houses. Once a hallmark of growth, the town houses that have sprung up all over Prince William County are now a symbol of sprawl and crowding.

Columbia residents thrive in between.Communities along the Baltimore-Washington corridor are prospering as both cities continue to grow.

Living on the edge. Charles County, long defined by tobacco farms and poverty, is experiencing an identity crisis as newcomers pour in from urban areas.

Part 2: Loudoun's effort to slow growth.

Boom puts jobs within reach. Despite all the controversy over the rapid growth of housing in Loudoun County, the job market is growing even more rapidly.

Think again. Loudoun County officials have begun reassessing plans for more housing.

Dulles plans grounded. The County Board of Supervisors drastically reduced development plans for Dulles South, the last chunk of green land in eastern Loudoun.

Part 3: Several counties fight sprawl — and one doesn't.

The price is wrong. Many suburban homeowners are being forced to sell at a painful loss.

Is Rockville Pike at its peak? All along Route 355, better known as Rockville Pike, planners and developers envision an explosion of development.

Suburban jungle. Traffic, taxes, and crowded schools are causing an uproar in the 'burbs.

Is development progress? Officials in Prince George's County have proposed substantial cuts in new housing developments as a means to curb growth.

Books before bricks. Three mothers crusade to put schools ahead of new housing on the county's priority list.

Building boon. While other counties are moving toward curbing development, Mongomery makes it easier and cheaper for developers to build.

Glendening's hot potato. Parris Glendening is under increasing pressure from both sides of the "Smart Growth" issue.

Growing smarter, not slower. Maryland's governor wants to protect the state's forests by encouraging small, dense developments rather than large-lot sprawl.

Part 4: Outer growth has come at the expense of inner areas.

Mass Exodus. A recent study shows that the people migrating out of Washington were long-time residents.

D.C. loses. Despite reports showing that the District's revenue has not suffered by the mass migrations to the 'burbs, facts prove otherwise.

Where's everyone going? The District's population dips to its lowest point since the depression.

Child poverty on the rise. Even the wealthiest of the D.C. suburbs are facing an alarming increase in child poverty.

Everybody's problem. A local economist reports that the economic fortunes of the suburbs are inextricably linked to those of the city.

What they sought to avoid. The shrinking of Washington has generated a new class of people suburbanites didn't expect: the suburban poor.

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