Demographics

Length of Residential Tenure: Metropolitan Areas, Urban Cores, Suburbs & Exurbs

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America is becoming less mobile than in the past, but there are some major metropolitan areas --- and areas within them --- that have fewer people move in and out than others. US households tend to live longer in their present residences where population growth has been more modest. The data also indicates that across all major metropolitan areas, households tend to have lived longer in suburbs and exurbs than in the urban core.  read more »

California Ranks #1 In Sending Dollars Abroad For Energy

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The USA is now a net exporter of crude oil, with crude oil exports exceeding imports. This oil boom is beneficial to 49 states, but not to California. The American shale boom has important security implications as well, as America is now less dependent on crude oil from the turbulent Middle East, again, except for California.  read more »

California Becoming More Feudal, With Ultra-Rich Lording Over Declining Middle Class

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In the imaginations of its boosters, and for many outside the state, California is often seen as the role model for the future. But, sadly, California is also moving backward toward a more feudal society.

Feudalism was about the concentration of wealth and power in a relative handful of people. Historically, California created fortunes for a few, but remained a society with enormous opportunity for outsiders, whether from other states or countries.  read more »

How Many Really Commute by Transit?

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According to the 2017 American Community Survey, about 7.6 million Americans, or 5.3 percent of commuters, take transit to work. However, the actual question on the survey asks, how do you “usually get to work last week.” If someone took transit three days and drove two, then transit gets checked. So how many really use transit on any given day?  read more »

Job Dispersion Eases Growth In Australian Cities

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American cities have long been known for their dispersion of employment, moving from mono-centricity, to polycentricity (and edge cities) to, ultimately, dispersion. This transition was documented by Bumsoo Lee of the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Peter Gordon of the University of Southern California (USC) using 2000 Census data (Figure 1).  read more »

Autonomous Cars Are Our Real Future

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Long a hotbed of new technologies, California insists on seeing its transit future in the rear mirror. Rather than use innovative approaches to getting people around and to work, our state insists on spending billions on early 20th century technology such as streetcars and light rail that have diminishing relevance to our actual lives.  read more »

The Mines

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There’s a literary trope in which an ambitious young man goes to work in the mines for a few years to earn an income with which to go back home. In the US it’s bundled into narratives of the Wild West (where incomes were very high until well into the 20th century), but it also exists elsewhere. For example, in The House of the Spirits, the deuterotagonist (who owns an unprofitable hacienda) works in the mines for a few years to earn enough money to ask to marry a society woman.  read more »

Highest Fertility & Gains Concentrated in US Midwest and South

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The plunging of birth rates has emerged as one of the most significant demographic trends. For the first time, there appears to be the prospect of nations that will become materially smaller in population as a result. For example, the latest projections from the Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research are that by 2115, the population will be only 50.5 million, down 60 percent from the present 126 million.  read more »

Is the Fever Breaking? Ground Zero Youngstown

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Two years ago, I described the Youngstown area as “crossover ground zero” for Donald Trump and the politics of resentment in working-class and rust belt communities. In local rallies during the 2016 campaign and since he took office, Trump has repeatedly promised an economic renaissance and immigration reform. These issues resonated with local voters.  read more »

America Keeps Winning Regardless Of Who Is President

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Ever since the election of Donald Trump, many of our leading academic voices, like Paul Krugman, predicted everything from a stock market crash to a global recession. Slow growth, mainstream economists like Larry Summers, argued, was in the cards no matter who is in charge. That was then. Now the United States stands as by far the most dynamic high-income economy in the world.  read more »