The Myth Of The American Heartland

Most of that land in the US is not where the people are, or are headed. Cities on the coasts are overcrowded; rural heartland communities are dying.
January 20, 2003, 10am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Today much of the Great Plains is undergoing a catastrophic demographic collapse. Stretching 1,600 miles from central Texas to the Canadian border and 750 miles across at its widest point, and containing all or most of ten states, this region accounts for a fifth of the land area of the United States, but only four percent of the population—about 12 million people. To put this in perspective, the population of the Los Angeles region is now greater than that of the Great Plains, an area five times the size of California... The future demographic pattern of the United States may be a largely empty interior surrounded by a handful of densely populated metropolitan areas: "Bosnywash," the Boston-New York-Washington corridor; "San-San" (San Diego to San Francisco); a "Texas Triangle" defined by Dallas, Houston, and Austin-San Antonio. The suburbs of expanding cities may fuse together, whereupon a process of inexorable "densification" may begin."

Thanks to Transport Policy Listserv

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Published on Monday, January 20, 2003 in The Atlantic Monthly
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