Demographics

Cities, Children and the Future

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

“Suburbs,” the great urbanist Jane Jacobs once wrote, “must be a difficult place to raise children.” Yet, as one historian notes, had Jacobs turned as much attention to suburbs as she did to her beloved Greenwich Village, she would have discovered that suburbs possessed their own considerable appeal, particularly for those with children.

Although some still hold onto the idea that suburbs are bad places to raise children, in virtually every region of the country, families with children are far more likely to live in suburbs than in cities.  read more »

New Urbanist Cities, Class and Children

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The United States has experienced a revolutionary change in social structure over the last 25 years, and this in turn has led to a significant change in settlement, especially the geography of many metropolitan areas.

At the risk of over-generalization, our society has shifted from a structure based on economic class to one based more on education and social values.  read more »

Understanding Phoenix: Not as Sprawled as You Think

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Phoenix may be one of the nation’s most misunderstood urban areas. The conventional wisdom is that Phoenix is one of the most suburbanized (or if the pejorative is preferred, “sprawling”) urban areas in the United States. Not so. According to 2000 U.S. Census data, Phoenix ranked number 10 in population density out of the 36 urban areas with more than one million in population.  read more »

The Phoenix Lament (with apologies to J. K. Rowling)

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Fifty years ago, Phoenix was Tiny Town in the Desert, smaller than Oshkosh or Santa Fe today. Now, it is larger than Philadelphia and the metro area has the bulk of Arizona’s population. That does not mean it gets any respect; on the contrary, it is, to many, a joke, with all of Los Angeles’ traffic and smog but without the ocean, the celebrities or the Lakers.  read more »

Phoenix: Is John McCain’s Hometown Down for the Count?

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

Much has been said about the rootlessness of our two Presidential aspirants, but both men have spent their political lifetimes representing real places and specific constituencies. Newgeography.com has already looked into the realities shaping Senator Barack Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago. Now we turn to the city that has most shaped Senator John McCain’s career: Phoenix.  read more »

A Generation Rises with Obama

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On his way to Denver, Barack Obama has been trying to mainstream his campaign. The selection of Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate was intended to be a steadying force as the historic nature of his campaign as a candidate of change remains unsettling for some. But so much has been said about his status as a candidate of racial change, that his status as a candidate of generational change has been little noticed. The torch, as JFK might say, is passing to a new generation.

Obama is the first Gen X Presidential candidate — for better and for worse.  read more »

Hillraisers: The New Naderites?

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I don’t know about you, but I’m still pretty astonished that aging white men – especially working class, blue-collar workers – have become “Hillary voters.” Who could have predicted that? Once upon a time, Hillary was a card-carrying member of the liberal elite, a corporate lawyer who didn’t stay home to bake cookies and have teas, who ruthlessly fired travel office workers and carted off loot from the White House, who carpet-bagged her way to a Senate seat in New York, and got booed by firefighters in the wake of 9/11.  read more »

Baby Boomers: A Millennial's Perspective

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The retiring of the vast sect of the population collectively known as Baby Boomers has several economic alarms going off. Due largely to this phenomena, by the year 2030, the number of people in the U.S. age 65 and above will double in size.  read more »

Bye, Bye Boomers, Not quite

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

They may be losing out politically to oldsters and youngins, as Morley Winograd and Michael Hais suggest, but Boomers will have a profound impact on our country’s demography and economics for decades to come.

In some ways this is as much a matter of numbers as anything. There are lots of Boomers and until the Millennials start entering their 30s in the middle of the next decade, they will retain a massive say in what kind of places and regions will thrive.  read more »

Bye Bye Boomers

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By Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais

The formal ratification of the outcome of the primary elections at the party’s national conventions marks more than just the beginning of a new era in American politics. It signals the demise of Boomer generation attitudes and beliefs as the dominant motif in American life.  read more »