Demographics

The New Retail: Gird Your Loins

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I was at a friend’s house when she got a delivery of groceries. The boxes arrived at her door from one of the many new services that allow customers to shop online. Fresh fruit, veggies, meat, wine, eggs, cheese, milk, Christmas wreathes, and fresh cut flowers. She just pushed a few buttons and voila!  read more »

Is The End Near For Religion?

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“At the heart of every civilization, religious values are asserted.”

— Fernand Braudel

Even at this season that should be about spiritual re-awakening, it is hard to deny that we live in an increasingly post-religious civilization. Virtually everywhere in the high-income world, faith, particularly tied close to institutionalized religion, has been dropping for a decade, and the trend is accelerating with each new generation. Even once bright religious celebrations like Christmas have not only become less spiritual, even here in America, but seems to be inexorably returning to its original pagan roots as essentially a winter solstice holiday.  read more »

Cars: Principal Mobility for Workers in Poverty

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Out of the approximately 150 million employees identified in the American community survey for 2016, nearly 10% are below the poverty level. Popular lore might provide a misleading impression that most of these employees reach work by transit. Other than in the New York metropolitan area, nothing could be further from the truth.  read more »

What Is the Future of Flyover Country?

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My latest piece in City Journal is a look at the interior of the country and its future. It’s an introductory survey that points out that there isn’t a simple coasts vs. the rest, but that there are many distinct regions and cities with varying performance. Many interior regions and cities are doing very well while others legitimately struggle. But in most cases there are still significant hurdles that need to be addressed.  read more »

Commuting in Canada: 2016 Census Report

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Statistics Canada has just released the employment access data out of the 2016 Census, based on the main mode of commuting. Generally, there is little change between the modes, as Figure 1 indicates, compared to the 2011 Census results. (See: New Data on Commuting in Canada).  read more »

Suburbs & Exurbs Grab Nearly All Metropolitan Growth

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The pattern of suburban (and exurban) population growth in the suburbs and exurbs that has dominated the United States since World War II has returned and is intensifying. This is evident from the latest American Community Survey (ACS) data for the 53 major metropolitan areas (more than 1 million population) as analyzed by the City Sector Model (See Note: The City Sector Model).  read more »

Mind the Gap

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I spent the last several years on an extended tangent exploring land use policy, the dynamics of a shifting economic and political landscape, and popular interpretations of how things should be. I’ve come to a peculiar set of conclusions and it’s not what I expected.  read more »

The Cities Where A Paycheck Stretches The Furthest 2017

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We often conflate high salaries with prosperity, but that can be deceptive. Someone who lives in New York or San Francisco might make more money than a counterpart in the same profession in Houston or Dallas-Fort Worth, but when the cost of living is factored in, their Southern colleagues may actually come out ahead.  read more »

#MeToo Solidarity

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Sexual harassment is both a labor and gender justice issue. After all, the workplace is the epicenter of women’s recent outrage about sexual harassment and assault. Hollywood titans, respected reporters, and celebrity chefs all used their power over women’s paychecks in order to gain power over their bodies. Women (and some men) have responded by speaking out individually, yet their inspiration is decidedly collective; strength in numbers is what’s fueling the revelatory headlines.  read more »

COU Standard of Living Index 2017 – 2nd Annual Edition

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In this policy brief, The COU Standard of Living Index, COU provides cost of living estimates for new entrants to metropolitan markets, including prospective home buyers as well as renters. See the report to understand the detailed criteria used to create the standard of living index.  read more »