This is the type of infographic that pitches a tent in yaboy’s pants. Seriously, I can’t get enough of this shit.
As you can see, over half of the United States population resides in small urban pockets located throughout the country. Americans have centralized their habitation into specific geographic regions at exponential rates compared to the rest of the country. Not only does over half of the population live in the 144 largest counties in America, 21-times as many US counties contain less inhabitants. That’s fucking wild, folks.
Here are our 2 main takeaways from the infographic:
#1) This info helps explains the skyrocketing costs of home ownership and rental rates in major metropolitan areas.
Back in 2013, ZeroHedge noted that not only are rent prices at all time highs, but home ownership rates are at all-time lows. When you combine these 2 key economic economic development, and the flight of Americans to urban centers, it makes perfect sense that the cost of living in cities like New York and San Francisco are bloated as fuck.
Accordingly to Zillow, “the cost of renting in the US has risen to its least affordable levels ever”.
#2) Continued rapid technological advancements will slowly reverse these trends and lead to a re-dispersion of Americans throughout US counties. This will play out 2 different ways.
A) As communication and computing technology continues to advance, US workers will have an increased ability to work remotely and away from a centralized location. Theoretically, someone in the future could potentially live in a place like Delaware while working full-time for a NY-based company. The proximity would allow the worker to be at a phaycisl location a few times a month on an ad-hoc basis, while allowing the worker to maintain a lower cost of living.
Hell, if Elon Musk’s hyper loop becomes a reality, we might have people working in NY while living in Seattle on the same damn day!
B) As technological innovation continues to lead to increased automation and a proliferation of robots replacing human jobs, unemployment and a lack of economic resources will force workers to flee to much cheaper geographical regions. It won’t be an act of choice or pleasure, but rather necessity.
Clearly, Option A would be preferable to Option B. Unfortunately, it’s likely that both scenarios will slowly play out over the next decade.