(WXIA) – A new report from Reid Ewing and Shima Hamidi with the University of Utah examined the largest 162 urbanized areas in the United States and measured them on a "Sprawl Index" based on data from the 2010 Census.
As in 2000, Atlanta has the top spot on the list. Many of the other areas in the top ten on the list are in the South and Southeast – including Hickory, NC at number two, Winston-Salem at number four, Charlotte at number five, Nashville at number six, Greenville at seventh, Chattanooga at eighth, Fayetteville, NC at ninth and Baton Rouge rounding out the top 10. Victorville, CA at number three is the only city outside of the South or Southeast on that list.
Major factors contributing to urban sprawl include large communities and a lack of urban planning, both of which, according to the study, lead to large-scale expansions of metropolitan and urbanized areas across the nation.
On the other end of the scale, the "most compact" metro area is the San Francisco-Oakland area. Other cities on that list include Reading, PA (#2), Madison, WI (#3), Eugene, OR (#4), Laredo, TX (#5), Oxnard, CA (#6), Atlantic City (#7), Los Angeles (#8), Lincoln, NE (#9) and New York City (#10).