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Archive for September 19th, 2019

Is Your County in Recession? A Growing Geographic Divide

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

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It is ten years since the Great Recession, and the economy has sustained growth for the longest period on record, but the latest data available for county gross domestic product (GDP) reveals enduring disparity among counties, and a pattern of nearly a quarter of all counties nationwide being far outstripped in GDP and employment by so-called “Superstar Cities.” We use maps to explore how this growth is playing out across the USA, revealing patterns that may not otherwise be obvious.

“Superstar” Cities

We first looked at growth in the total number of jobs between June 2010 and June 2019. We found that 41% of the new jobs were in only 20 metropolitan areas.

This would be unsurprising given that most people are urban dwellers and cities are drawing more of the population to them. Maps are a great way to emphasize this: The red areas in the map below cover half of America. No this isn’t an optical illusion; half of all Americans live in the 27 urban areas highlighted.

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