Welcome to a new feature at the Avenue we are calling “On the Map.” Borrowing from a new tool we created to accompany the recent release of our report on the State of Metropolitan America, On the Map will look at some of the demographic trends behind issues in the news, and use (you guessed it) maps to illuminate those trends. We’ve posted previously on Arizona’s new law to curb illegal immigration, and noticed that legislators in other states like Tennessee didn’t take very long in mounting efforts to follow Arizona’s lead. But Massachusetts? The New York Times reports that a bill to signific
Last week on this blog, I riffed about one of the more interesting findings to emerge from our State of Metropolitan America report—that demographically, our nation’s major metropolitan areas didn’t always look very much like their geographic neighbors. To illustrate the point, I looked at the Southeastern seaboard, which counts metropolitan members from each of the seven demographic categories we identify in the report, from the “Next Frontier” region of Washington, DC to the “Industrial Core” area of Augusta, GA. We argue that metropolitan demographic peers may have more to learn from one
So Number 10 Downing Street has a new resident, from a new party. It’s a little strange for us Anglophilic public policy wonks, since it sometimes feels like Labour is all we’ve ever known. Indeed, Tony Blair became prime minister for the first time just a few months after Bill Clinton’s second inaugural--what now seems like a different eon in America. (And in the U.K., too--Posh and Becks had just met.) Particularly during eight years in the U.S.
Do you live in the “Rust Belt” or the “Sun Belt?” Are you a West Coaster, an East Coaster, or a resident of “flyover country?” Perhaps you’re a proud New Englander, Midwesterner, or Texan. More to the point, does any of that matter? (For the full-size map click here) Maybe not as much as you think. Our new report, the State of Metropolitan America, surveys the demographic landscape of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas over the 2000s. It finds that who metropolitan areas are is in many ways more important than where they are. In fact, my Brookings colleagues and I identify seven categ
Buried beneath the much-deserved hullaballoo over the passage of health care reform last night were big changes that the reconciliation bill makes to the federal student loan program. (Fortunately, Jonathan Chait has been on top of it--see here.) The law will take much of the savings generated by moving from private, subsidized lending to direct federal lending and use it on an expanded Pell Grant, which should help more low- and moderate-income students access that oversubscribed tuition assistance program. Less noticed, however, is a provision that was in the House-passed Student Aid and Fis
In a FY 2011 budget that freezes non-defense discretionary expenditures, the Department of Education has attracted some attention for being one of the few places in the federal government that would attract an increase in funding if the plan is enacted. But the old stuff in the administration’s proposal is at least as interesting as what’s new. The budget foresees about a $3 billion increase overall for the department, a 6 percent rise over the FY 2010 request. More money for K-12 programs authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), more recently known as No Child Left Beh
So all signs are now pointing to Scott Brown winning today’s special election in Massachusetts for the seat that Ted Kennedy held for 47 years. Of course, the competition for the most compelling explanation for the upset has already begun. Martha Coakley ran a terrible campaign, Brown is an appealing guy, voters are upset about the economy, Massachusetts has already enacted its own version of health reform, Democrats at the state level are unpopular, Doug Flutie, etc. Let’s look a little closer at the economy argument, but specifically in the Massachusetts context. In November, the state’s un
Yesterday’s release of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index has economists—and probably the Obama administration—on edge. The reason: an apparent softening of demand in October, which translated into weak home price growth across the 20 markets that the index tracks. That followed stronger, more widespread price growth in the summer months. The news has stoked fears of a “double dip” in house prices and the resulting havoc it might wreak in the mortgage market. Like the economy itself, though, what you make of U.S.
The latest edition of MetroMonitor--our ground-up view of the recession and recovery--is out today, looking at economic indicators through the third quarter of 2009. The bottom line: It’s still a big country. Some places had largely recovered by September, while others still hadn’t bottomed out yet. Check out the report for all the details, but here are a few amuse- bouches to whet your appetite: The manufacturing belt surges… but it may be temporary.
An important federal program that tends to fly under the radar received some unprecedented real estate this past weekend--an enormous spread on page A1 of Sunday’s New York Times. Jason DeParle’s article, and some nifty interactive maps on the Times website, portray the recent rapid growth of the food stamp program, now officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or by its rather unfortunate acronym, SNAP.