For the first time in human history, the majority of the world’s population (54%) lives in urban areas, including 80 percent of Americans. This number is expected to grow to 66 percent of the world’s population by 2050.

Increasing population growth in cities not only leads to greater citizen demand on local government but also creates an entire new ecosystem in which local governments must respond and adapt. For this reason, the National League of Cities is publishing this yearly benchmarking report, State of the Cities, which provides analysis of trends in cities and the response of local governments based on annual state of the city addresses from mayors across the country. 

Key findings from this year’s report:


  • Topline issues for the nation’s mayors are jobs and the economy, budget and finance, and public safety.
  • Jobs, education and housing are common topics in the speeches of larger city mayors, whereas public safety is the leading priority issue in cities with population below 50,000.
  • Transportation issues receive extensive attention from mayors in the West and South, environmental issues from mayors in the West, education from mayors in the Northeast, and housing from mayors in the West and Midwest. 


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