Demographics changes tell the story

Startling demographic changes as to where people live by age and education level tell us a story about our country that explains recent economic and political trends.

A University of Virginia analysis of census data from 1990 with more recent data from 2011 through 2015 finds that the number of college educated in urban areas has increased significantly in 30 major metropolitan areas. The rate of increase in suburbs to those cities is strikingly less. In addition, the income level in those urban areas have increased substantially more than in the suburbs.

Further, 50% of new jobs in the US were associated with 5 urban centers: New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami.

My experience as an “oldie” in dtla* is that you can’t keep up with the new residents. They all seem to be foodies that live or uber downtown to mix with their friends. There is now a Whole Foods, a Ralph’s and a Target downtown. Nordstrom Rack is about to move in. Arriving to an early morning meeting, I park at the Target at 6:45, pass the Gold’s gym and Sin Cycle which are all full of young people. I take the escalator up to the street and pass the dog walkers and the business people and the same homeless people in the same spots they were in last month when I took this same path. Most of the new residents are young, educated people who followed the jobs. They are from everywhere and every race and culture.

The UVA study shows that the suburbs and the rural areas are having a very different experience.  New business creation is less than business closures. Wages are not going up as quickly as in the 5 megacenters. There is a feeling of being left behind.

Take a look at the demographics.  It explains some of the glaring differences in how where we live affects how we look at the world. It will also affect hiring for your organization.

To read a summary of the UVA report, click


*downtown Los Angeles