Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Midwest Success Stories

My latest blog post is up at New Geography. It is called “Midwest Success Stories.” It’s no secret that the Midwest is a region of the country that is struggling, but there are success as well and they don’t always get told. I highlighted six cities that are clearly doing better than the nation as a whole demographically and economically: Columbus, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Madison, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Now you’ll obviously note the prevalence of state capitals on the list. I addressed that earlier in my piece called “The Urbanophile Conjecture“. There are also a few other characteristics these cities largely share that I intend to explore in a future post.

I picked these cities because their metro area data was so strong, but there are plenty of other cities with successful attributes as well and with indications they are turning up. I just noted Pittsburgh’s first in-migration in ages, for example. And Chicago’s urban core boom is beyond impressive. So please don’t think this is an exhaustive catalog of success.

4 Comments
Topics: Demographic Analysis, Economic Development

4 Responses to “Midwest Success Stories”

  1. Alon Levy says:

    I’ll buy Minneapolis, but Indianapolis and Columbus have had below-average per capita income growth for years. Des Moines is a farm aid hog, and even Kansas City has been growing at about the same rate as the rest of the US.

  2. Vin says:

    Re: the Urbanophile conjecture. I present a non-Midwestern, but still relevant, counterpoint: Albany, NY. While the city itself is quite small, the metro is around 850k, and not doing very well. It’s doing better than other Upstate NY cities, but that’s not saying much. The downtown is pretty dead and I don’t think it has any major cultural institutions to speak of (though I could be wrong). It even has a large state university.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Vin.

  4. The gateway arch is really an impressiv building. Especially the elevators are awesome. I really recommend everybody to check it out.

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