Looks like cities are the safer bets in hard times, according to census data. Nineteen of the nation's 34 largest cities grew faster last year than they had the year before. Chicago, Denver, Seattle, and Dallas all posted the highest growth rates in a decade, and New York also grew healthily. William Frey, a demographer at the think tank the Brookings Institution said the growth was due to economic uncertainty with buying a house in the suburbs. Some evidence from the housing market to bolster that: Phoenix and Las Vegas, two cities hit the hardest by the housing bust, both did not gain as many residents in 2009 as in 2008.