America’s heartland has quietly gained some major competitive advantages over America’s crowded, expensive coasts.
Thus get ready for a heartland renaissance over the next 40 years says New Geography.
It makes a lot of sense. First of all, America’s ‘fly-over’ states have substantial natural resources, which will remain extremely important in a world where developing nations are devouring more than ever and America is increasingly worried about its dependence on foreign nations.
But there’s far more ot it.
Advances in communication, ie. the internet, have removed many of the reasons for Americans to congregate in crowded industry-hub cities such as New York or Los Angeles. Sure this has been happening for a while. It’s just that now the need for Americans to huddle together in crowded hub cities is disappearing fast.
Thus all kinds of new industries are growing, and will grow, in the heartland. You won’t be such an industry outsider anymore when you are located far from major cities either. Thus given lower living costs, more land, and less population density, there will be fewer and fewer reasons not to move. New Geography believes we’re in for an enormous structural shift in the economy as a result:
As huge urbanized regions become less desirable or unaffordable for many businesses and middle-class families, more and more Americans will find their best future in the wide-open spaces that, even in 2050, will still exist across the continent. The beneficiaries will include places as diverse as Fargo and Sioux Falls in the Dakotas to Des Moines, Oklahoma City, Omaha and Kansas City.
Many of these areas are now enjoying both population growth and net domestic in-migration even as the nation’s most ballyhooed “hip cool” regions like the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago experience slower growth. Fargo, N.D., Sioux Falls, S.D., Des Moines and Bismarck, N.D., for example, all grew well faster than the national average throughout the past decade.
Economics undergirds this trend. Unemployment in the Great Plains has remained relatively low, even during the recession that began in 2007. For much of the decade, the biggest problem facing many businesses has been finding enough workers.
New investment will flow back into the Heartland to tap previously difficult-to-access resources such as oil and gas, while new technologies will exploit prodigious natural sources such as wind.
We’d just take it a step further and highlight that increasing numbers of Americans won’t even need to be in the country anymore, let alone New York City, if they don’t want to be, yet still participate in a wide variety of industries. Though Kansas might still be the best option.
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