NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 8, 2005

Red states have the demographic, economic and political "momentum," while blue states remain stagnant and Euro-centric, writes Joel Kotkin of the Weekly Standard.

Cities like Reno, Boise, Orlando, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City are attracting people and businesses from both the East and West coasts because of their lower costs of living:

  • Cities in red states generally embrace growth, businesses and new opportunity, while those in blue states embrace costly policies such as living wage ordinances and restrictive zoning.
  • Job creation in these regions is in fields that increasingly represent America's economic power: software development, medical manufacturing and high-end business services.
  • Over the next 25 years, these areas are projected to experience the nation's largest increase in the construction of new homes and industrial and commercial buildings.

By contrast, cities on the coasts are "hemorrhaging" young families and suffer from the some of the worst rates of job growth in the country. In these respects, blue state cities such as San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and New York are increasingly looking like Europe:

  • As in Europe, many, if not most, major American urban centers are either demographically stagnant or are losing population; low birthrates often translating into higher per-capita wealth.
  • Like their European counterparts, American urban centers are experiencing very little economic and job growth; for instance, New York City has fewer private-sector jobs today than it did 35 years ago.

Source: Joel Kotkin, "Cities of Aspiration: ...and the Rise of Euro-America," Weekly Standard, February 21, 2005.

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