Numerous communities have adopted some form of urban containment policies (UCPs), such as greenbelt, urban growth boundaries (UGBs), and urban service areas (USAs), as methods to prevent urban sprawl and protect open space. Although there is controversy over the negative and positive impacts of UCPs, little is known on their impacts on population and employment growth, and on the overall urban spatial structure. The purpose of this research is to (1) understand the system of UCPs, (2) empirically analyze their impacts on population and employment growth, and built-up areas in combination with housing values, and (3) examine their impacts on the location of industrial activities as well as population. Two approaches are considered to empirically analyze the impacts of UCPs on urban growth and urban spatial structure. In the first approach, a simultaneous equation model is used with, as endogenous variables, the changes in total population, total employment and sectoral employment, housing values, and land area at the municipal/city level. In the second approach, population and employment density gradients, estimated with both monocentric and polycentric models at the metropolitan level, are used to examine the impacts of different UCPs on urban spatial structure. The research finds that both the stringent containment policies (SCPs), including greenbelts and UGBs, and the less stringent containment policies (LSCP), including USAs, have significant impacts on changes in population, employment, housing values, and land areas. When both direct and indirect effects are taken into account, the SCPs have a positive effect on changes in population, employment, housing values, and land area twice larger than the LSCPs, suggesting that SCPs more successfully accommodate new growth within the growth boundaries, and that housing values increase with the tightness of UCPs. In terms of the urban spatial structure, statewide SCPs encourage metropolitan areas to move to a polycentric development pattern, locally-enforced SCPs support a monocentric pattern, and USAs produce sprawled development patterns.