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Copyright ©2010 by Fodor & Associates LLC Relationship between Growth and Prosperity in 100 Largest U.S. Metropolitan Areas

By Eben Fodor


This study examines the relationship between growth and economic prosperity in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas to determine whether certain benefits commonly attributed to growth are supported by statistical data. The annual population growth rate of each metro area from 2000 to 2009 is used to compare economic well-being in terms of per capita income, unemployment rate, and poverty rate. The study finds that faster growth rates are associated with lower incomes, greater income declines, and higher poverty rates. Unemployment rates tend to be higher in faster growing areas, though the correlation is not statistically significant at the 95 % confidence level. The 25 slowest-growing metro areas outperformed the 25 fastest growing in every category and averaged $8,455 more in per capita personal income in 2009. The findings raise questions about the efficacy of conventional urban planning and economic development strategies that pursue growth of metro areas to advance the economic welfare of the general public

Year: 2010
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