We live in an era of the heady drumbeat of urban triumphalism. In a world that is now, by some measures, predominately urban, observers like historian Peter Hall envision a “coming golden age” of great cities. It is time to look at such claims more closely, replacing celebratory urban legends with careful analysis. Although the percentage of people living in cities is certain to grow, much of this growth will be in smaller cities, suburbs and towns. read more »
The city of Seattle is an exceptional place. The 2010 census figures on race, ethnicity and age confirm this reputation. The main story from the census findings is the continued gentrification of Seattle, with displacement of minorities and the less affluent out of the center of the city, especially to south King county and Pierce county. The city core is becoming whiter, while the edges and suburbs, north and east as well as south are becoming far more diverse. read more »
The National Bureau of Statistics of China has just released the first results of the 2010 census. The new figures portray a radically reduced population growth rate, rapid urbanization and an unprecedented domination of population growth by the East Coast. read more »
These may be far from the best of times, but they are no longer the worst. Last year’s annual “Best Cities for Jobs” list was by far the most dismal since we began compiling our rankings almost five years ago. Between 2009 and 2010, only 13 of 397 metropolitan areas experienced any growth at all. For this year’s list, which measured job growth in the period between January 2010 and January 2011, most of the best-performing areas experienced actual employment increases — even if they were modest. read more »
The methodology for the 2011 rankings largely corresponds to that used last year, which emphasizes the robustness of a region's growth both recently and over time. It allows the rankings to include all of the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports monthly employment data. They are derived from three-month rolling averages of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics "state and area" unadjusted employment data reported from November 1999 to January 2011. read more »
Since the oil spike in the early seventies, enthusiasts for public transport have predicted that high prices for petrol would trigger a public transport revolution as people finally broke their “addiction” to the motor car and changed their travel mode to buses and trains.
Since then, price bubbles have increased public transport use, and lowered car miles traveled. But these changes have proved to be short-lived. More drive more. read more »
Urbanist media can’t seem to get enough of the megacity these days. Much of the commentary surrounding this topic is disconcertingly celebratory about these leviathans despite such phenomena as overcrowding, high levels of congestion and sprawling slums. read more »
While everyone seems to know someone who has been divorced, rates can vary widely by state. Why? Do high divorce states have anything in common? We took a look at some visualizations of state divorce rates against a few other demographic characteristics.
The latest Census data offers up some observations of how divorce varies regionally. The first graph shows 2008/2009 divorce rate against 2009 bachelor’s degree educational attainment. We average two years of Census divorce rate data to help even out the variance caused by small sample sizes. read more »
Much has been made of the vaunted “back to the city” movement by “the young and restless,” young professionals, the creative class, empty nesters and others were voting with their feet in favor of cities over suburbs. Although there were bright spots, the Census 2010 results show that the trend was very overblown, affecting mostly downtown and near downtown areas, while outlying ones bled population. One culprit for this discrepancy seems to be that the intra-census estimates supplied by the Census Bureau were inflated – in some cases very inflated. read more »
Two interesting statistics were recently released in the same week. Singapore clocked in a population of just over 5 million and a sex ratio of 974 males per 1000 females. Its neighbour and ally India inched closer to beating China in the population game by notching up 1,210 million people as its head count, along with the more news-worthy sex ratio of 940 females to every 1000 males. read more »