Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shrinking City Chicago

At Pacific Standard magazine, Chicago is dying where the population is growing.

Theme: Ironic demography

Subject Article: "Chicago City Trends."

Other Links: 1. "Chicago Is Dying."
2. "Pittsburgh’s Hidden Economic Boom."
3. "How California Bested Texas."
4. "Globalization and Atlanta’s Gated Urban Core."
5. "Multiplier Effects: Connecting the Innovation and Opportunity Agendas."
6. "Globalization: Stiglitz’s Case."

Postscript: From "(Mis)leading Indicators. Why Our Economic Numbers Distort Reality":

Economists and analysts loosely refer to statistics measuring GDP, unemployment, inflation, and trade deficits as “leading indicators” and subscribe to the belief that these figures accurately reflect reality and provide unique insights into the health of an economy. Taken together, leading indicators create a data map that people use to navigate their lives. That map, however, is showing signs of age. Understanding where the map came from should help explain why it has become less reliable than ever before.

Our map of leading demographic indicators is showing signs of age. Population change and net migration tell yesterday's story, not today's or tomorrow's.


D Holmes said...

Good article as usual. I agree that population is an old economy metric, and that education is probably the key new economy metric. I think households are also a much more useful metric than population. I did an analysis for New York City vs Phoenix for changes in population and total households over the 50 year period from 1950 to 2000. I don't recall the exact numbers, but believe that Phoenix added a million residents while NYC gained essentially no population. Yet it turns out the NYC gained a million households, more than twice the number of Phoenix - and without increasing its land area (Phoenix increased its area by 1000%).

Another example is Milwaukee - assigned permanent status in the Midwest declining city narrative due to having a current population about 150,000 below its peak. And yet as far as the number of households, it my now exceed it previous peak. This doesn't fit nearly as well with the rust belt narrative.

Jim Russell said...

D Holmes,

Love your focus on change in the number of households. A bunch of households gain a second income because women start working. The educational attainment level of women rises and birth rates fall. The number of households remains the same, but population falls. This is a bad economic outcome?