America's Path to 400 Million

<em>The New York Times</em> reviews a new book by Joel Kotkin about the role of immigration and minority populations in America.
February 27, 2010, 11am PST | Nate Berg
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Whereas in the past minority populations mainly had a big impact in large cities and "gateways", the impact of minority populations will spread over the next 40 years. And the concept of "minorities" will change as well. Kotkin's book predicts a continuation of American innovation, success and resilience.

"What will this nonhegemonic transcendent superpower look like? The Internet's democratization of information will mean more people will work at home. The heartland will be revived as places with 'skill surpluses' like Fargo, N.D., and Boise, Idaho, prosper through technology. The nation's suburbs will become more like preindustrial villages with vibrant town centers and less like bedroom communities catering to commuters. As a result the core of many central cities will shrivel and become anachronisms as the sprawling, multipolar, car-dependent cities of the South and Southwest (which can lure younger families with lower property prices) become cutting-edge cultural incubators.

Some older urban areas, like New York, may survive as "luxury cities," but Mr. Kotkin perceptively warns that municipal officials who believe they can position their cities only as playgrounds for the rich are doomed to a demographic dead end."

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Published on Friday, February 26, 2010 in The New York Times
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