Demographics

The Arab Tradition of Enterprise

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In the 1940s, American oil workers in Saudi Arabia stumbled across ruins in the desert. They had found Qaryat al-Fāw, a pre-Islamic city located deep in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. When the sand was dug up, the remains of a trading hub bustling with houses, squares, and a large marketplace was discovered. Centuries before the birth of Islam, caravans carrying textiles, minerals, and grains across Arabia had passed through the city. Its inhabitants had worked in trade and agriculture, and relied on seventeen local wells for water.  read more »

Where U.S. Manufacturing Is Thriving In 2018

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The ‘80s futurist John Naisbitt once called manufacturing a “a declining sport,” and to be sure the share of Americans working in factories has fallen far from the 1950 peak of 30% to roughly 8.5% last year.  read more »

Pervasive Suburbanization: The 2017 Data

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The most recent Census Bureau population estimates have made it clear that migration to the suburbs and away from urban cores has accelerated dramatically since the early years of the Great Recession (see here and here).  read more »

Where College Grads Are Moving

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The Wall Street Journal just ran an interesting interactive feature looking at where college grads move after graduation. They looked at 445 schools, and tracked destinations by metro area. They discovered that graduates, particularly from stronger schools, are flocking to major metro areas. The Big East, Ivy League, Pac-12, Big-12, ACC, and Big Ten are all over 70% in sending college grads to major metro areas (but see below for caveats).  read more »

The Horrors of Marxism Not So Clear to America's Young

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Karl Marx’s birthday may have been 200 years ago, but his philosophy has come back from the dead. Today, China, an emerging superpower, is celebrating his “genius,” while Marxist ideology is gaining adherents among a whole new generation in the West.  read more »

As Goes The Suburbs, So Goes The Nation?

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The sound-bite version of American politics tends to come from our dominant media centers on the coasts, while the right-wing counter-culture snarls back from the smaller cities and towns of the heartland. Yet the real future of America, including that of its politics, lies in a place with little voice in the political debates — suburbia (which includes the more far-flung exurbs).  read more »

The Evolving Urban Form: Madrid

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Madrid is the capital of Spain, as well as its largest built-up urban area, with an estimated 6.4 million population in 2018. Madrid’s urban area plus economically connected rural and small town areas make up the metropolitan area, which has nearly 7,000,000 residents. The area has an urban population density of 4,700 per square kilometer (12,200 per square mile), ranking it third among the European Union’s built-up urban areas over 1,000,000 population.  read more »

Growth In America Is Tilting To Smaller Cities

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We are often told that America’s future lies in our big cities. That may no longer be entirely true. Some of the strongest job creation and population growth is now occurring in cities of 1 million people or less.  read more »

Do Big Cities Make Us Dumber?

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You may remember Geoffrey West from his TED Talk about the scaling laws of cities that got a lot of press a while back. He has now turned his research findings into a book. Famed physicist Freeman Dyson just reviewed it for the New York Review of Books. His review includes this curious section about genetic drift I found interesting.  read more »

Finance Flies West, and South

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The recently announced departure of New York City-based Alliance Bernstein for Nashville, taking more than 1,000 jobs with it, suggests a potential loosening of New York’s iron grip on the financial-services industry.  read more »