Brandon Martin-Anderson, a graduate student at MIT’s Changing Places lab, was tired of seeing maps of U.S. population density cluttered by roads, bridges, county borders and other impediments.
Fortunately for us, he has the technological expertise to transform block data from the 2010 Census into points on a map. One point per person, and nothing else.
Read more. [Images: Brandon Martin-Anderson]
For the last few decades, we’ve been importing our new population from Mexico, but that too looks to be at an end.Net immigration from Mexico has fallen to zero, thanks in large part to a healthy Mexican economy (good), lower Mexican fertility (good), the housing bust (bad), and nativist sentiment against “illegal” immigrants in states like Arizona (very, very bad).
America’s birth rate is not as low as Europe, but we still need immigrants to ensure a healthily expanding labor pool. Where are we going to get our new Americans? Asia and Africa. Asia is especially important, and encouraging large-scale immigration from Asia will have benefits far beyond the simple economics of immigration. The United States’ geopolitical strategy for the emerging Asian Century must be to position ourselves as the Alternative Asia, the way we were once the Alternative Europe.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
A new report from the Pew Research Center documents that it’s not just income inequality that’s increasing. Residential segregation by income is, too.
"Growing income inequality does not automatically lead to growing residential segregation by income. Conceivably, we could still have a middle class hollowing out but people still living in mixed neighborhoods," says Paul Taylor, one of the report’s authors. Turns out this is not, however, what is happening. As Americans are growing farther apart on the income scale, we are also effectively moving apart from each other within cities, into our own economic enclaves. So why is that? The answer, Taylor says, may lie more in human behavior than economic data.
"We know over the whole entirety of human history that people have a tremendous tendency to cluster among themselves, whether in tribes, whether in nations," Taylor says. "Like attracts like. That’s not always the case for some people who value diversity. But it’s sort of hardwired into human nature."
Read more. [Image: Pew Research Center]
Dubai 2000 and 2010:
One of the best examples of the instant megacity, Dubai has changed dramatically since oil was discovered there in the 1960s. The change over just the past decade has been incredible.
Istanbul 1975 and 2011:
As Istanbul goes from blood red to grayish-beige in these images, the population grows from about 2.5 million in 1975 to 13 million in 2011.
See more. [Images: NASA and USGS]