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The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050by Joel Kotkin
"In his latest oracular production, Kotkin — whose other books include The New Geography (2000) and The City (2005) — takes as his starting point a single, arresting statistic: 'According to the most conservative estimates, the United States by 2050 will be home to at least 400 million people, roughly 100 million more than live here today.'" Tom Vanderbuilt, the Wilson Quarterly (Read the entire Wilson Quarterly review)
Synopses & Reviews
Visionary social thinker Joel Kotkin looks ahead to America in 2050, revealing how the addition of one hundred million Americans by midcentury will transform how we all live, work, and prosper.
In stark contrast to the rest of the world's advanced nations, the United States is growing at a record rate and, according to census projections, will be home to four hundred million Americans by 2050. This projected rise in population is the strongest indicator of our long-term economic strength, Joel Kotkin believes, and will make us more diverse and more competitive than any nation on earth.
Drawing on prodigious research, firsthand reportage, and historical analysis, The Next Hundred Million reveals how this unprecedented growth will take physical shape and change the face of America. The majority of the additional hundred million Americans will find their homes in suburbia, though the suburbs of tomorrow will not resemble the Levittowns of the 1950s or the sprawling exurbs of the late twentieth century. The suburbs of the twenty-first century will be less reliant on major cities for jobs and other amenities and, as a result, more energy efficient. Suburbs will also be the melting pots of the future as more and more immigrants opt for dispersed living over crowded inner cities and the majority in the United States becomes nonwhite by 2050.
In coming decades, urbanites will flock in far greater numbers to affordable, vast, and autoreliant metropolitan areas-such as Houston, Phoenix, and Las Vegas-than to glamorous but expensive industrial cities, such as New York and Chicago. Kotkin also foresees that the twenty-first century will be marked by a resurgence of the American heartland, far less isolated in the digital era and a crucial source of renewable fuels and real estate for a growing population. But in both big cities and small towns across the country, we will see what Kotkin calls "the new localism"-a greater emphasis on family ties and local community, enabled by online networks and the increasing numbers of Americans working from home.
The Next Hundred Million provides a vivid snapshot of America in 2050 by focusing not on power brokers, policy disputes, or abstract trends, but rather on the evolution of the more intimate units of American society-families, towns, neighborhoods, industries. It is upon the success or failure of these communities, Kotkin argues, that the American future rests.
"Kotkin (The City) offers a well-researched — and very sunny — forecast for the American economy, arguing that despite its daunting current difficulties, the U.S. will 'emerge by midcentury as the most affluent, culturally rich, and successful nation in human history.' Nourished by mass immigration and American society's 'proven adaptability,' the country will reign supreme over an 'industrialized world beset by old age, bitter ethnic conflicts, and erratically functioning economic institutions.' Although decreasing social mobility will present a challenge, demographic resources will give the U.S. an edge over its European rivals, which will be constrained by shrinking work forces and rapidly proliferating social welfare commitments. Largely concerned with migration patterns within the U.S., the book also offers a nonpartisan view of America's strengths, identifying both pro-immigration and strongly capitalist policies as sources of its continued prosperity. However, Kotkin tends to gloss over the looming and incontrovertible challenges facing the country and devotes limited space to the long-term consequences posed by the current recession, the rise of India and China, and the resulting competition over diminishing energy resources. Nevertheless, his confidence is well-supported and is a reassuring balm amid the political and economic turmoil of the moment." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A fascinating glimpse into a crystal ball, rich in implications that are alternately disturbing and exhilarating." Kirkus Reviews
Visionary social thinker Kotkin looks ahead to America in 2050, revealing how the addition of 100 million Americans by midcentury will transform American families, towns, and industries. It is upon the success or failure of these communities that the American future rests.
A visionary social thinker reveals how the addition of one hundred million Americans by midcentury will transform the way we live, work, and prosper.
In stark contrast to the rest of the world's advanced nations, the United States is growing at a record rate, and, according to census projections, will be home to four hundred million Americans by 2050. Drawing on prodigious research, firsthand reportage, and historical analysis, acclaimed forecaster Joel Kotkin reveals how this unprecedented growth will take shape-and why it is the greatest indicator of the nation's long-term economic strength. At a time of great pessimism about America's future, The Next Hundred Million shows why the United States will emerge a stronger and more diverse nation by midcentury.
About the Author
Joel Kotkin is the author of five books, including Tribes, The City: A Global History, and The New Geography. Kotkin is a frequent contributor to the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Inc. magazine, the American Enterprise, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Valley Village, Los Angeles, with his wife, Mandy, and two daughters, Ariel and Hannah.
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