The conventional wisdom presumes that growing populations bring economic growth. But what drives wealth isn’t how many people a place is adding, but how much more productive its workers are becoming. Yesterday, I showed that population growth and productivity growth are unrelated on the level of states. Today, drawing on my ongoing research with Kevin Stolarick of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Jose Lobo of Arizona State University, I’ll take a look at the pattern for 350 plus U.S. metro areas. The disconnect is even more pronounced.
Posts Tagged ‘population’
This past weekend, I had an oped in the New York Daily News about the widespread fallacy that population growth and prosperity go hand in hand.
Yes, the Sunbelt is growing and the Frostbelt declining. That decades old meme was confirmed by the earliest releases of the new 2010 Census. “The quest for mild winters remains the great constant of American demographics,” wrote Walter Shapiro in a piece headlined “The Census Ratifies the Sunbelt’s Supremacy and Buoys the GOP. “For the first time in history, more than half of the nation’s population (308,745,538) resides either in the South or in the warm-weather states of California, Arizona and New Mexico.”
But are those states that are adding people also growing economically? Not so much, actually.
Long-established trends in the growth and decline of America’s cities appear to be shifting according to new Census data released Tuesday. The data cover population trends for cities – that is, incorporated areas – from 2000 to 2009, and also for the immediate post-economic crisis period spanning July 2008 to July 2009.
Some major cities, which had long seen population decline, registered population gains. Chicago, for example, saw its population increase by 0.8 percent, its fastest pace of the decade, while New York expanded 0.5 percent, continuing gains in recent years. Other cities, notably many Sunbelt cities that had long seen rapid growth, saw their gains slow considerably for the first time in modern memory.