Rush Jagoe

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The nation’s largest retailer is known for sprawling suburban and rural stores. Now Wal-Mart is moving into city centers — sometimes despite strong local opposition.

NPR compiled data on the locations of Wal-Marts in three American cities. For each of these cities, we used census data to estimate what percentage of the population was within 1 mile of a Wal-Mart. In the maps below you can watch as Wal-Mart expands to reach more and more of this urban population. Ten years ago, Wal-Mart had no stores in any of these cities; today they have 20. In Washington, D.C., three additional Wal-Marts are under development, allowing us to project the retailer’s market growth into the future.

The Urban Neighborhood Wal-Mart: A Blessing Or A Curse?

Source: Wal-Mart, U.S. Census Bureau

Credit: April Fehling, Tyler Fisher, Christopher Groskopf, Alyson Hurt, Livia Labate and Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Note: All population estimates refer to block-level 2010 Census figures.