Think New York City is crowded now? You ain’t seen nothing yet. According to census data and a new report by the Brookings Institute on job proximity, the city is on track for a population boom of professionals raking in big bucks. The city has by far the highest job density in the country, even when the national trend is for both people and jobs to move to the suburbs. Similarly, NYC tops the list of increase in population of college grads between 2007 and 2012 by a landslide. And as The Atlantic observes, this combination is creating a feedback loop that will make our already rich and crowded city even richer and more crowded. “The densest cities tend to be the most educated cities, which are also the richest cities, and often the biggest cities. They’re gobbling up a disproportionate share of college grads. And, as a result, they are becoming richer, denser, and more educated.”
Graphs courtesy of The Atlantic, click to enlarge
This feedback loop trend often goes by fancy names like geographic sorting, economic agglomeration, or cumulative advantage, but all of these terms mean the same thing–that young, educated people are drawn to density and job proximity and, in turn, future generations of post-college job seekers follow suite. Economists Edward Glaeser and Matthew Resseger have done work showing that urban centers with many college grads have more productive workers, whereas in cities with fewer college-educated residents, there’s no relationship between population and productivity.
The predictions for NYC align with the most recent census data, as the boroughs’ population is closing in on 8.5 million, with 8,491,079 people counted as of July 1, 2014. This is nearly 300,000 additional people since 2010, and if the city keeps growing at the current rate of 75,000 residents per year, it will outpace the current housing stock, making for a more crowded city that is more accessible to the wealthy.
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[Via The Atlantic]