Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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California and NAFTA

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Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants

Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants | Geography Education |

"Between now and 2021, a million jobs are expected to go unfilled across Canada. Ottawa is making reforms to the immigration system but isn't going far enough. We need to radically boost immigration numbers. With the right people, Canada can be an innovative world power. Without them, we'll drain away our potential."  This article clearly articulates some of the economic ramifications of the later stages of the demographic transition and some of the difficulties that are associated with a declining internal population. 

Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 2015 7:50 PM

The article makes a strong case for Canada to increase their immigrant quota. According to the article, by 2021 one million jobs will be vacant. Since the population of the country is only 34 million, simple math dictates that a lack of supply means the country needs to turn outward. Admittedly, a mass increase in people won’t solve the problem entirely. However, the article goes on to explain how “innovations” occur more when people of different backgrounds work together. Looking at the United States, many of our startup companies have immigrants on the board of them. So, immigrants will do more than just fill the one million open jobs. All this means that no Canadian can really be angry at immigrants for “taking their jobs,” which one of the immigrants interviewed for this article (Keiron Tanner) said was his experience thus far. So in one way an economic justification is a good way to go because of the clear need that no one can really argue about.


However, an economics justification really needs to be implemented in a manner that continues to support the strength of the aforementioned argument. Even though more people are needed, the government is assigning immigrants temporary visas, thereby giving the impression that these people are just going to leave. Yet Mr. Tanner, the immigrant mentioned earlier, wanted to become a permeant resident. He said “he knew…this (Canada) is where I would be staying.” Yet, what happens if the Government doesn’t get back to him before his visa runs out? The article mention an increase in immigration workers would be need to help process all of this information. I am thinking that if there aren’t enough government workers to keep up with the increase in immigrants, some will just let their visas expire and stay illegally like some people in the United States. When this happens more economics arguments will be thrown around, but this time in a negative light because now the immigrants aren’t paying taxes. Furthermore, other arguments, like the legality of the workers, will be put into the mix as well.    


Another issue in framing the immigration problem solely on economics is that it underscores the human nature of this issue. People often do not adapt to change well. I imagine Canadians’ won’t either, especially given how proud they are of their heritage. I remember learning in French class years ago that they had their own committee called the Académie Française who review the language to get rid of words that aren’t French sounding enough. What happens with the language they guard when it is mixed with the language of their new immigrants? A business owner in Steinbach claimed he just hired workers who all spoke German, so his workers could just keep speaking German and language wouldn’t be an issue. Yet the langue could still mix as people try adopting to their new home. I also wonder how citizens will react to the new comers when it comes to other values. Do all the teachers react empathetically to the students who did not want to take yoga for reasons related to culture like Mr. Klassen? Or were the students just lucky he gets the final say because he is the superintendent? All of these questions eluded to the point that conflicts will arise. I just hope it isn’t  pushed aside as a minor issue like this article does on numerous occasions or seen as a one way equation in which only the immigrants need to adjust (i.e. section on Mr. & Ms. Lima).  


Overall, keeping the American notion of immigration in mind while I follow this topic will be interesting. Canada doesn’t exactly have a border issue like we do. The country is smaller, their government reacts differently, and their values are different too. Still though some human phycology is just universal (i.e. difficulty with change). Immigration is therefore bound to affect Canadian’s in a different manner, but just how differently is the question? 

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What America Manufactures

What America Manufactures | Geography Education |

"It's a myth that the U.S. doesn't make anything anymore."  The U.S. economy still produces more through manufacturing tangible goods ($1.5 trillion) than it does in providing services ($600 billion) for the international market.  The maps and graphs in this article are great teaching materials.  The impact of NAFTA is shown powerfully in the regionalization of U.S. trade partners, making this salient material for a discussion on supranationalism as well.   

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 11, 2013 7:09 PM

This is great because now we can witness the creation of jobs in the country which can help the country get out of the depression that it is in. it also can help people get jobs and not have to worry about if there unemployment check is going enough to cover there expenses. Also people that are working are less likely to get depressed because they are not trapped in there homes because now they have something that is distracting them. But the United States is seeing a great improvement because of all the things being manufactured here. One good example is the Honda accord power plant and the ford motor company plant and even general motors in Detroit. all of these companies is helping the Americans get back into the workforce.

Nicholas Patrie's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:05 PM

i was surprised to see that our country still exports so many products. What i find even more surprising is that the top countries that are buying our good are our bordering countries, Canada and Mexico. As much Petroleum we receive from the middle east we still are exporting so much of it to Canada and Mexico. It seems that foreign cars such as ones from Japan are taking over the industry yet our top export to Canada is car parts. it is good to see that America still exports.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 12:03 PM

I was surprised and reassured to see how much the U.S. exports to other parts of the world.  I was unaware that the U.S exported to China because we physically surrounded by items made in China. Although our imports exceed exports, we are still producing,


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Tornado Satellite Imagery: Before and After

Tornado Satellite Imagery: Before and After | Geography Education |
Compare before and after satellite images of tornado damage in Alabama.


This is an older image from the Tuscaloosa tornado (April 2011) but still a powerful representation of natural disasters and their impact of both the environment as well as urban systems.   Using current geospatial technologies in the classroom helps to solidify the idea that geography is much more than "just capitals and landforms" in a student's mind. 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 1:06 PM

This certainly adds to the concept that geography is much more than capitals and landforms. Geography of a certain area can change someone's entire life, as seen for people who live in the tornado region. Natural disasters have a huge impact on the lives of many as we can see through the recent disasters the US has faced.  Geography not only helps to define these regions but how to detect the disasters and how to recover and collect data from them.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, September 11, 2015 9:23 PM

This interactive map gives you really clear insight into the damage a tornado can do. I found it amazing how clearly you could trace exactly where the tornado touched down and traveled. I had always imagined that their winds alone would just wipe out the whole town. While I am sure other structures in the area had impacted damage to, I was amazed at the difference in damage, between where it had traveled and the surrounding areas. There is a clear line of absolute complete destruction and just some damage. It looks like the tornado literally ripped up the ground wherever it touched...very neat. 

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Latinization of Southern Space and Place

Latinization of Southern Space and Place | Geography Education |
The Latinization of Southern Space and Place project investigates how the myriad discourses of migration and globalization have become manifest graphically across social spaces and street graphics in the contemporary American South.


As local demographics change, so does the cultural landscape and--as evidenced by Alabama writing the toughest anti-immigration law in the U.S.--the political landscape.   

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The Geography of Unemployment and the Recession

The Geography of Unemployment and the Recession | Geography Education |
Not every place and every citizen has been affected by the recession the same way...


For the Unemployed, Geography Can Be Destiny by Richard Florida.  This article highlights the uneven distribution of unemployment, and consequently, of job availability.  Where is unemployment highest?  How come? Getting a job isn't just about what you know and who you know, but where you know it.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:41 PM

While the media often focuses on unemployment on a grand scale, regional trends can add insight to the problem at hand. Some places, such as Yuma, Arizona, have unemployment rates as high as 30% while other, like Fargo North Dakota have a safe 3% unemployment rate. At the height of the recession, unemployment was decently even across the country, but recovery has not been an even process. Demographics could be a large key to understanding these issues. Large metros are more resilient to unemployment due to the higher quantity of college graduates, and their positions as economic and creativity hubs. 

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NYTimes Video: City of Endangered Languages

NYTimes Video: City of Endangered Languages | Geography Education |
New York has long been a city of immigrants, but linguists now consider it a laboratory for studying and preserving languages in rapid decline elsewhere in the world.


This is an excellent video for showing the diffusion of languages in the era of migration to major urban centers.  It also shows the factors that lead to the decline of indigenous languages that are on the fringe of the global economy and the importance of language to cultural traditions.   Here is the article related to the video available. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 10:25 AM

This article and video were very interesting.  They point out how a city full of immigrants can help preserver a dying language.  The work being done to learn about and preserve these obscure languages is great.  The fact that in New York you will hear language spoken more there than in their home country is astounding to me and very interesting.  This fact is key to preserving these language as they are from areas of the world were the technology level is much lower and less likely to be preserved.  It is also interesting as it shows where people are coming from to live in NY.  The city draws immigrants like a sponge draws in water and this adds to the cultural mosaic that is NY city.

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CommonCensus Sports Map Project

CommonCensus Sports Map Project | Geography Education |

Another Sports Geography link, this one coming from  They comply self reported data about what region you identify with (excellent for mapping vernacular regions) and also sports geography regions (based on fan response not television markets) for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football. 

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 10:38 PM

One very interesting thing about the map pertaining to NHL teams is that the top 3 teams in popularity are part of the original six teams of the NHL. Two are Canadien, and would not be applicable in this map. It seem's that the addition of over 20 teams did not make some fans stray away from their favorite original six member, except in the case of the New York Rangers, who now split their fans with the Islanders.  The map with the College football rankings must have been extremely hard to create, as it is definitely the sport where fans are more likely to like a team that is not from their region. 

Amanda Sepe's curator insight, January 22, 2015 7:18 PM

I love football even though I am a girl, many people will predict their home team or the closest to where you live. For example this year, only 3 states are saying Seattle Seahawks will and that is Washington, Oregon and Idaho all states closest to Seattle, although I would have guessed California would have picked Seattle as well.

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U.S. Aging Population

U.S. Aging Population | Geography Education |
Richard Jackson talked about the economic, social, geopolitical, and demographic implications of the aging of the U.S. population, and he responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. Dr.


This video highlights the effects of the later stages of the demographic transition on economics, politics and cultural institutions on the most developed countries in the world.    

Kyle Kampe's curator insight, May 27, 2014 10:08 PM

In AP Human Geo., this relates to the theme of the dependency ratio and the population pyramid. As the population ages, the dependency ratio increases as the elder population brackets of the population pyramid require funds from the working class population to sustain themselves.

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The Shifting Geography of Black America

The Shifting Geography of Black America | Geography Education |

"While many northern cities did see anemic growth or even losses in black population, and many southern cities saw their black population surge, the real story actually extends well beyond the notion of a monolithic return to the South."


Demographics, culture, scale, region are some of the applications available. 

David Lizotte's curator insight, January 24, 2015 4:33 PM

This was a pretty cool article. I liked how it started with this specific census being the least broadcasted/talked about compared to any other census. The first thing that came to my mind once reading this is racism... In either case, it was a good read.

Throughout the article I kept thinking about natural reasons why people move. For example, its too hot, the winter is a burden, but also natural disasters, like Katrina. I know there was a large population of Katrina refugees whom fled to Texas, specifically Houston, right after the Hurricane struck. This of course would explain the sudden increase in the black population of Houston but also why the population has not increased or rather gone down over the past 5-10 years.

Im sure natural disasters as well as the basic weather motivate individuals to move but the socioeconomic reasoning cannot be ignored. For example the article mentioned lower cost(s) of living in certain cities migrated to by African Americans. A cheaper cost of living is attractive to any one person whom is strapped for cash. Social reasoning can be determined through racial issues in certain cities, education, family or rather long distance family/friend relations. 

This article was written in 2011. It would be interesting to view the most recent census in regards to this topic. As well as brainstorm the statistics and why they are... the way they are. 

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"It's Not My Mountain Anymore"

"It's Not My Mountain Anymore" | Geography Education |

"First-hand accounts of profound experiences and mountain living in rural Appalachia."


This book touches on important themes.  In our rush to strengthen the economic vitality of our urban areas, what are the cultural and environmental impacts within rural areas?  This nostalgic look at a bygone era also exemplifies the concept of "place" as a geographic term, and the deep emotional attachments that it evokes in so many.

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Rural US Disappearing? Population Share Hits Low - ABC News

Rural US Disappearing? Population Share Hits Low - ABC News | Geography Education |
Ghost Towns: Rural U.S.Disappearing...


1910: 72% of USA rural

2010: 16% of USA rural


This stark reversal has profoundly reshaped our society.  The patterns noted in Peirce Lewis's 1972 classic article "Small Town in Pennsylvania" have just continued and accelerated.  Critical questions: What forces are driving the change?  What other parts of society are impacted by this shift?

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New article URL link here

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, November 1, 2014 10:03 PM

Our society has been shaped by the migration of its southern residents into northern and western cities. While our cities are overflowing with rural citizens, life in rural America is slowly vanishing to life in the city. Just like times in early America, lack of employment opportunities in the rural America and the blooming business industry in the city, those who had family roots set in rural America are having too uproot their family and relocate in order to participate in the economic trade.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, January 30, 2015 3:41 PM

I think society itself evolves from the past. Alot of new ventures emerge and society adapts to that. Alot of rural areas have evaporated as a new force of urban planning has emerged where more developed cities have increased and more small cities are being recognized and developed into a more open society. Ghost towns are being more destroyed and created into a opportunity where a driven society will create businesses  for people with no jobs.

WILBERT DE JESUS's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:44 PM

People move from rural areas to urban areas in the US. This pattern has shifted the notion the founder fathers had when creating this great nation when they envisioned a mostly farming society where people own the land.

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Drug war sparks exodus of affluent Mexicans

Drug war sparks exodus of affluent Mexicans | Geography Education |
Tens of thousands of well-off Mexicans have moved north of the border in a quiet exodus over the past few years, according to local officials, border experts and demographers.


The migration from Mexico to the USA has slowed tremendously in the 21st century, but due to the drug violence, the demographic profile of the migrants has changed significantly. 

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 2014 1:22 PM

Despite Mexico making improvements to make Mexicans want to stay below the border. The drug trafficking violence does make people want to leave. Tens of thousands of well-off Mexicans, wealthy businessmen and average Mexicans are fleeing Mexico and have moved north of the border in a quiet exodus, and they're being warmly welcomed, unlike the much larger population of illegal immigrants. Mexicans are fleeing cartel wars that have left more than 37,000 Mexicans dead in just 4 years, 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 29, 2014 2:12 PM

This article is interesting because we were used to seeing poorer immigrants from Mexico looking for work and a new way of life.  However, the more affluent communities are migrating North to the U.S. and legally because of the turmoil of the drug wars in their country.  It is disappointing to see that drugs, violence and murder are pushing away people from their own country

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 3, 2014 1:23 PM

For more affluent Mexicans the ability to migrate north is much easier than for the poor. They have the money and the skills to move into the United States. Also with the open lines of communication and ease of flux with business over the border make moving to the U.S. an excellent way to avoid being caught in the cross fire among drug cartels. For the poor however they are either forced to find work with the cartel or risk being an innocent bystander. It also makes you think about the terminology we use to describe Mexican immigrants, are they not refugees of this drug war?

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Interactive: Locating American Manufacturing

Interactive: Locating American Manufacturing | Geography Education |
With the slight resurgence of U.S. manufacturing in the recent years—termed a potential "manufacturing moment" by some—it is important to consider not just the future of manufacturing in America but also its geography.


This interactive map is brimming with potential to both teach and learn about the changing industrial geographies of the United States.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 12, 2013 7:21 PM

Amazing to see that there still is manufacturing in the US given all the news about it moving to China and other countries.  As the map shows there still is big manufacturing in east of the Mississippi and then manily along the West Coast.  I really thing the US as a whole needs to get back to basics.  Manufacturing is what made this country strong, and I believe that a strong manufacturing sector with a strong services sector will help this country grow.

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Santorum Sees Divide Between Rural and Urban America

Santorum Sees Divide Between Rural and Urban America | Geography Education |

The 2012 election are showing again some of the cultural, political and economic divides that exist in the United States.  This above map portrays the 2008 presidential election, with counties that voted for McCain in red and Obama in blue.  Rick Santorum has said, in reference the political map of the United States today, "Think about it, look at the map of the United's almost all red except around the big cities."  Rick Santorum, by taking on “blue” big cities, is also criticizing the Republicans, his own party. This political portray is an attempt to accentuate the difference between rural and urban America to hit his key demographic, but it also begs for further analysis into the electoral geography of the United States.  As some social media skeptics have retorted, "It's all blue except where nobody lives."  Which is it?  What do these patterns say about United States politics?  Why do these patterns exist?  For more maps that shed light on the spatial voting patterns from the 2008 election, see:

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 10:50 PM

Senator Santorum has made a good point here. For years his party (and even the other) have been redistricting their states in order to gain advantages in state elections.  It has been common knowledge which areas are leaning red and which are blue.  Yet nobody seems to be trying to strenghten their base in weaker areas. One thing that would've helped immensely is if the Republicans had strengthened their support among immigrants and African Americans. They heavily populate these urban areas that Republicans need support in in order to strengthen their base.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 1:17 PM

While looking at this map in class, and then various other maps it is interesting to look at the correlations between the geography of the area and the way they voted. For example, the cotton belt votes democratic, which would make sense given the history behind the location.

Miles Gibson's curator insight, February 15, 2015 1:23 AM

Unit 4 political geography

This picture explains how political development and parts of America have come to understand and define elements of the world's own cultural backgrounds of urban and rural development. The picture shows that the urban areas are developing in the way of republicans.

This picture relates to unit 4 because it shows how the geography and urban development creates a dividing line of politics and governmental work in the area of rural area to convert to the political status of the urban areas.

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The true cost of oil

The true cost of oil | Geography Education |
TED Talks What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project -- and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.


This is a visually stunning portrayal of Canadian landscapes.   He shows incredibly gorgeous photographs of the ecosystems of the boreal forest, indigenous cultural landscapes and natural scenery.  This is unfortunately the backdrop for the impacts of industrial extraction of oil from the tar sands of the Athabasca in Canada.  Collectively, this makes for a jarring justaposition of environmental landscapes.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 10:59 AM

This presentation is very moving on the emotional side of the plight of Canada’s natural resources.  When it comes to oil production no matter where it is it will be dirty, messy and fraught with problems that impact the environment.  The idea that everyone wants oil but they don’t want to mess up their own country to get it is an interesting problem.  Frankly the more developed countries like Canada are more likely to mine the resources responsibly then a country that has little or no environmental protections.  This speaker gives a very impassioned presentation but he offers no alternatives to oil.  Getting oil from a country that has environmental protection laws is cleaner and better then getting it from a country that cares nothing for the environment; it is less accountable and more environmentally damaging to get it from somewhere else.  Pipelines are cleaner ways of moving oil as they seldom leak and don’t crash and spill.  The debate over oil and environmental responsibility will continue until a viable source of clean energy is created. 

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:37 PM

this video shows the beauties to be found in world, and the negative effects that mining for oil can do to these areas. in one region it was home to a type of deer but all they could be found was the deers antlers. that showed that mining for oil was killing all the deer. all these regions are under threat. the largest toxic wastelands on the planet are being created.

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After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work | Geography Education |
ONEONTA, Ala. -- Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans.


Geography is all about the interconnected of themes and places.  This issue in Alabama is displaying these interconnections quite vividly.  Economics, immigration, culture, politics and agriculture are intensely intertwined in this issue.   

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:57 AM

This is another article that highlights the skill deficit in this country.  People seem to be afraid of doing hard work and would rather do nothing then work hard to learn this skill.  If it were a choice between no job and this type of job people would take the jobs but the third choice of unemployment payments makes people who might do these jobs decide not to.  As long as they are paid more to not work then work, they will not do the jobs that need workers.  The farmer made a good point that a skilled picker can make $200-$300 a day but an unskilled worker doing the job makes only $24 a day.  The work ethic of this country needs to be changed, young people today do not want to work hard or put in the effort.  When farmers can no longer get workers how long will it be before there is a food problem as well as a worker problem in this country.  It is possible to make a good living doing these types of jobs but not as long as people feel the work is beneath them or they are unwilling to do the hard manual labor required to do the job well.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:26 PM

i see this as a very good law. America is on the verge of recovering from an economic recession and the United States can benefit from every job given to a natural born american citizen. i do see the problems that a  farmer can have such as receiving a decline in profits if they must pay more for the product. in the article the farmers also say that Americans just do not work like seasoned Hispanics and production is way down. another looming problem that the Americans have is that they are slow, and want to call it a day after lunch, and expect to get paid more. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 2015 5:36 PM

As the title implies, this is about how Americans are not cut out for doing intensive farming jobs because the workers just quit quickly. A few politicians mentioned in the story, Governor Robert Bentley and Senator Scott Beason, said they received thank you messages from constituents who found work. This was supposed to be evidence of Americans benefitting from jobs that immigrants took, but I would love to know how many of those people actually stayed with the job. Furthermore, I find it a bit too suspicious that none of the people wanted to speak with the press as the author mentioned or that the names just weren’t given. I am more inclined to believe the owners of the famers mentioned in the article, who said they can’t keep Americans on their site happy due to lack of pay and benefits. Mind you now it wasn’t just one owner who said this either. I think this is telling as well because the owners are the individuals who best know the industry as they work it every day.


From the farmers perspective the new law is now a huge problem that could also affected consumers. They lost steady “Hispanics with experience,” who they knew could handle the work. For some farmers, according to the article, has made it so the produce is left on the vine rotting because it isn’t picked. So in essence, what the Arizona law just did was harm agriculture and the buyers too because if enough of that food perishes the price will go up. Now I can understand a state being aggravated over illegal immigration (it is a serious problem that is nowhere close to being solved), but to pass a law with these kinds of economic ramifications isn’t really helping the situation much either. As much as people hate to admit it, our economy needs immigrants from Mexico for our agriculture sector to work. It is just a little known fact.


The new law isn’t the only law at issue in this article. Connie Horner of Georgia tried to legally hire workers through the government’s visa program. She soon found it is too costly for her to do and too time consuming, so instead Ms. Horner is turning to machines. The fact that visas are that hard to attain for workers is also part of the reason the immigrants come illegally. Rather than spending more money to watch the boarder how about the government figure out a way for the bureaucracy of the immigration process to move quicker. This isn’t an issue of 2011 either when the article was written. Listening to the news, I have heard farmers complain about the visa program for years. No wonder immigrants come over illegally and then citizens get angry at these people. Really, American’s should be more annoyed with their government’s ineffective stance on boarder control. 

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Stranded in suburbia: Why aren’t Americans moving to the city?

Stranded in suburbia: Why aren’t Americans moving to the city? | Geography Education |
It's going to take more than wishful thinking to convince Americans to move back to the urban core.


While some urban pundits have been projecting a decline of suburbia, the numbers haven't born that out.  How come?  What will that mean for society?  How does urban planning account for cultural and economic preferences?    

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 12, 2013 10:02 PM

Because of lack of jobs in our economy today most college kids move back home with mom and dad after school. This means parents can move out of the suburbs if the so choose. Cities also have a bad rep, they are seen as violent and dirty and poverty filled and the schools in the cities arent always the best. All of these leave many families choosing suburbs first or leaving the cities for them. 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 1:13 PM

I can relate to this topic as a college student who wants to live in a bigger city. I always wanted to live in Boston however the profession I am choosing will most likely not support the lifestyle I am seeking in a metropolitan area.  The rising costs of college make so many students can't leave their home state and move to urban settings, and then student loan payments with increasing interest rates cause many to stay in their suburbs.  It would be nearly possible for someone like myself, to live in a metropolitan area comfortably with a decent pay but student loans right after college.  I feel like many people in the lower/middle class suburbs are in this situation and cannot graduate to a level where they are financially stable enough to leave and enter the city.

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America's Fertility Class Divide

America's Fertility Class Divide | Geography Education |
Since the average American woman has 2.1 children, you might think we aren't experiencing a national fertility crisis.


This article effectively conveys the global trend of lower fertility rates coinciding with higher rates of female education, wealth and development.  As a bonus, it shows that within a given country, fertility rates are not uniform, but vary between demographic classes. 

Seth Dixon's comment, September 28, 2011 10:42 AM
My pleasure...
Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 24, 2014 2:24 PM

In the article, Lerner details why the United States' healthy birthrate of 2.1 children per woman is a deceiving number. While other first world nations like England and Germany are suffering from overall low birthrates, the United States is suffering due to the low birthrates in high-income brackets and high birthrates in low- income brackets. This discrepancy is reinforced by a lack of paid leave laws for new parents in the US, making having a child a burden for potential parents with aims of furthering their careers. Similarly, lower income women do not have enough access to publicly funded family planning programs.


This dichotomy in birthrates in the US will likely have a negative effect on the nation's economy going further. If most of the nation's children are being born into poor families the next generation of Americans are more likely to have worse access to education and be unable to obtain higher paying jobs than if the birthrate were more uniform across income brackets.

Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 2015 7:48 PM

This article showed how when you average the birth rate in the United States, it obscures a larger issue between classes. According to the article, the birthing rate for “poor women” is more than that of the “wealthier” “professional” women by a fair amount. The poor will typically have a few children whereas the wealthier may now choose to have none.  Looking at numbers in this manner is important because the full picture obviously needs to be seen in order for more effective policy reform to ever happen. Yet, the idea of “choice” and type of reform needed is something the author and I differ greatly on.


The author did a poor job asserting upper class women’s lack of “choice” when it comes to the amount of children they have. The author said some “successful” women would rather get ahead in their career instead of have a family. Thus there is this added layer to the problem of choice outside the unplanned pregnancies of the “poor.” However, there are enough fluff pieces in magazines of late proclaiming women can have it all because “successful” women, as this article called them, typically do have the resources to balance family and work. What I think is more common through is that wealthier women (who want children) are now having children later because they are finishing their schooling and establishing their careers. While the women who don’t have kids, just plain make a choice not to have a child. Because honestly, more affluent people are actually able to plan and decide if they want kids. Whereas an unplanned pregnancy takes the deliberate action of planning out the equation all together. Therefore mentioning the obstacles some women have to plan around in conjunction with the actual issue of poverty just confuses the meaning of choice.


The article also touched upon the idea of better child care, which is obviously needed in the US, but not for the reasons mentioned in this article. As mentioned earlier, the more successful women have the money to pay for child care because they have the money/job to do so. Whereas the people with lower paying jobs can’t make ends meet partly due to the way maternity and child care in this country runs. So I think the country would need to change the system, not to cater to the upper class so they procreate more like the author implies, but to increase the mobility of the poor class. Doing this could decrease the amount of people growing up in poverty in order to raise the quality of life for some children. To me, this logic is a better reason to implement more affordable child care rather than the author’s classist concern that poor people are going to outnumber the amount of rich babies born in the US.  


Overall, I think this article makes a good point about showing the problem in terms of pregnancy rates being obscured. However, the manner in which the author discussed the “successful” classes “choice” and situation in relation to women in poverty aggravated me.    

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Ground Zero "mosque" opens without protests

Ground Zero "mosque" opens without protests | Geography Education |
The proposed construction of an Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York caused outrage when it was announced two years ago. Now days after the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the facility opened last night to no opposition.


This is an intriguing swing based on the initial reaction a few years ago about this Islamic cultural center.  Why the fervor 2 years ago?  Why the silence now?  These are worthwhile questions to explore with our students. 

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 12, 2013 9:47 PM

In my opinion trying to stop the building of this was awful. American prides itself on being the land of the free and that includes freedom of religion regardless of what the horror that took place on 9/11. What was done on 9/11 can not be blamed on a whole population, race, or religion when it was the doing of one group. The rest of these innocent people who were are part of the United States of America were just as affected as the rest of us and it is good to see that this building was allowed to happen in peace.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:49 PM

The outrage over the "Ground Zero Mosque" several years ago was incredibly senseless and entirely discriminatory. This mosque was not on Ground Zero ans was in fact several blocks away, the only reason this became an issue is that select news sites (Fox) built up the issue relying on many Americans' Islamophobia in order to help their ratings and further the political cause of a select few. This is shown to be true as now no one is concerned at all as the story is "old". The actions of our biased media is disgusting at times.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 6, 2015 11:06 AM

This was a very interesting development.  Even more interesting was the reaction by many of the public.  On first glance, I guess it is understandable for one to say that it is "odd" developers decided to build a Muslim "mosque" within blocks of the 9/11 attacks.  Then after a little research you should be able to rationalize the situation and put it in perspective.


For beginners, it is not a "mosque" but a "community center" of sorts.  Secondly, I would ask critics whether they think a Christian church should be allowed in Oklahoma City, considering Terrorist Mcveigh of the 90's bombed buildings there.  Just because a certain "type" of individual commits a crime does not mean every person associated with that person's ethnicity or religion should be outcasted. One would think that this behavior would have been destroyed after the "mongolian" camps of California in the 1800's and the Japanese internment camps of the 1900's.  It is amazing that America being such a "civilized" country continues to react in such "savage" ways.

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2008 Election maps

2008 Election maps | Geography Education |

Excellent electoral geography maps from the U.S. presidential election of 2008.  What are the major patterns you see?  What do these patterns in say about the politics, culture and demographics about these places?

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The Beginning of the End for Suburban America

The Beginning of the End for Suburban America | Geography Education |
The Beginning of the End for Suburban America...


A provocative title, but are our cities and urban settlement patterns shifting?  Is sprawl going to be curtailed by cultural, environmental and economic forces?

The Kingdom Keepers's curator insight, February 10, 2014 10:10 AM

When suburban areas starting increasing, it had several advantages- Bigger homes, better education, a yard to call your own. These advantages are beginning to be shadowed by several factors that are actually pushing people out of these suburban areas and changing the urban pattern in our cities. Will people start to swarm in the central business district, or will rural areas reign? -Brooke

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:34 PM

This article shows how trends in energy consumption and the economy can affect geographies of development. After WWII, the United States hit an unprecedented economic boom. Large amounts of cheap oil combined with economic growth spurred the development of infrastructure and cities dependent on automobiles. Since people no longer had to live in the cities to work in them, they began developed outside of the city. Today, oil is becoming more and more expensive, which could mean the end of the age of the automobile. Since cities remain to be hubs of employment and business, people can no longer afford to drive long distances for their daily commutes. People are beginning to move into cities or along public transportation lines in order to more feasibly get to work. 

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, January 29, 2015 2:39 PM

Over the past 10-15 years, the suburbs grew dramatically, and have become less popular.  In the early 2000s it thrived because the economy was doing well, and technological advances were in hyper speed.  I was a bit shocked that it's slowed and that it's being reported that suburbs are coming to an end, but then it it started to make sense.  The unemployment rate was extremely high, as were gas prices.  It only makes sense that less people would be building or buying larger home with bigger cars and more appliances.  But, it was possibly better for our environment.  Less miles being driven means less pollution by cars, less electricity being used never hurts.  But now, gas prices have dropped again, and the unemployment rate has dropped as well. But, today we have so many alternatives to gasoline run cars and common electricity, that even if suburbs made a huge comeback, they wouldn't be the same as they were before.

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Interactive maps Mexico-USA migration channels

Interactive maps  Mexico-USA migration channels | Geography Education |
In several previous posts we have looked at specific migration channels connecting Mexico to the USA: From Morelos to Minnesota; case study of a migrant...


An excellent way to show examples of chain migration and the gravity model...students will understand the concepts with concretes examples. These interactive maps have crisp geo-visualizations of the migratory flows.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 3, 2015 4:09 PM

When it comes to ethnic groups in the United States, many of the hispanic/mexican ancestors occur in the southwestern area of the United States. That's obviously because Mexico is southwest of the United States. When it comes to emigrating from Mexico, individuals immigrate to the United States (mostly southwest of the United States) so they can live a different, hopefully better economy. Plus, they try to escape the gang violence and drug violence in Mexico.

Alexa Earl's curator insight, March 14, 2015 1:05 PM

This is a good representation of chain migration.

Devyn Hantgin's curator insight, April 3, 2015 1:46 PM


This map show the most popular migratory flows of migration from Mexico to the US. 

This ties into our unit about migration because many Mexicans migrate to the US every year. This map shows the patterns and paths of the migration. 

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Human landscapes in SW Florida

Human landscapes in SW Florida | Geography Education |

This is an excellent suite of images in a photo essay showing urban development in Florida.  These collectively can be used to accentuate the "human-environmental interactions" theme of geography.  The "unnatural coastlines" shows the economic logic behind this ecologically unwise development pattern.   

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 2015 7:08 PM

Its funny how in Florida, these ares are all layed out in a nice and neat plan of development, with some kind of structure, while in the northeast it is a free for all, build it where you can kind of area.  It is funny though how close these houses are to each other when there is so much land around in all areas.

Mackenzie Mcneal :)'s curator insight, March 10, 2015 9:07 PM

As you can see Florida has grown not only with its population but with its economical development. With the Urban patterns being so widely distributed it has made a major imapct with how Florida is catorgarized. With the spread of development being so highly rated it has not only moved farther up into the upper parts of Florida, but all over, this has caused Florida's ubanized patterns to look scrambled and not in an orderly fashion.

Rylee English's curator insight, February 5, 10:09 AM

these images give examples of areas/ regions that used to be empty, open fields but were developed into suburban areas with many subdivisions and housing for citizens. RE 

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Is Manufacturing Falling Off the U.S. Radar Screen?

Is Manufacturing Falling Off the U.S. Radar Screen? | Geography Education |
As companies move production overseas and as other industries grow faster, manufacturing is accounting for a smaller share of the economy. And the nation has no distinct plan for the sector’s future.


This article is full of applications for global economic restructuring, post-industrial economics, outsourcing, rust-belt decline, rise of China, etc.  

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