Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
"Americans' understanding of who counts as 'white' has changed dramatically throughout the country's history and even over the last century alone. This map — which covers a decade of immigration to the US, from 1892 to 1903 — is a dramatic illustration of what it looked like when 'white' wasn't the same thing as European. Mouse over any part of the map to magnify it."
While this doesn't say everything about the state of cultural politics in the United States, it does lay out some of the more ideologically charged debates in the new political landscape after the midterm elections. What does this Venn diagram say about the state of cultural politics in your state? The Courts have aided the push for same sex marriages; will that also occur for marijuana legalization?
"If you think the United States is every immigrant's dream, reconsider. Sure, in absolute numbers, the U.S. is home to the most foreign-born people — 45.7 million in 2013. But relatively, it's upper-mid-pack as an immigrant nation. It ranks 65th worldwide in terms of percentage of population that is foreign-born, according to the U.N. report 'Trends in International Migrant Stock.' Whether tax havens and worker-hungry Gulf states, refugee sanctuaries or diverse, thriving economies, a host of nations are more immigrant-dense than the famed American melting pot. Immigrants make up more than a fourth (27.7 percent) of the land Down Under; two other settler nations, New Zealand and Canada, weigh in with 25.1 and 20.7 percent foreign-born, respectively. That's compared to 14.3 percent in the United States."
"More than 168 million Americans now live in states where marriage for same-sex couples is legal following the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to not hear five states’ appeals. That number represents about 53.17 percent of the U.S. population, according to data from the Census Bureau and visualized on the map above."
UPDATE: As of November 20, 2014 this is now the new map of same-sex marriage in the United States. Notice that all the states that oppose same-sex marriage are part of one single, territorially contiguous block of states. How come that is the spatial pattern for this issue?
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
Here's a somewhat regular argument I get in: Which states make up which regions of the United States? Some of these regions -- the West Coast, Mountain States, Southwest and Northeast are pretty cl...
Vernacular regions aren't defined by a one particular trait, but are how we think about places. These 'regions of the mind' are how we organize information about places, which is why these regions aren't sharp or precise. In a similar article, they investigate what we consider to be a part of the South using similar crowdsourcing data.
"For at least 70 years, the Red Delicious has dominated apple production in the United States. But since the turn of the 21st century, as the market has filled with competitors—the Gala, the Fuji, the Honeycrisp—its lead has been narrowing. Annual output has plunged."
The story of the Red Delicious is almost a perfect analogy for the food industry. It was genetically selected for its marketable skin, an aesthetically sumptuous red. The skin of the Red Delicious better covers bruises than other varieties and tastes more bitter. Consumers were buying what the industry promoted and “eating with their eyes and not their mouths.” But recently there has been a backlash in the United States and more American consumer are seeking out other varieties; meanwhile the apple producers are working on exporting this variety to around the world, but especially into Chinese markets.
"Although we seldom think about them this way, most American communities as they exist today were built for the spry and mobile. We've constructed millions of multi-story, single-family homes where the master bedroom is on the second floor, where the lawn outside requires weekly upkeep, where the mailbox is a stroll away. We've designed neighborhoods where everyday errands require a driver's license. We've planned whole cities where, if you don't have a car, it's not particularly easy to walk anywhere — especially not if you move gingerly.
This reality has been a fine one for a younger country. Those multi-story, single-family homes with broad lawns were great for Baby Boomers when they had young families. And car-dependent suburbs have been fine for residents with the means and mobility to drive everywhere. But as the Baby Boomers whose preferences drove a lot of these trends continue to age, it's becoming increasingly clear that the housing and communities we've built won't work very well for the old."
Population change is frequently a concern of city planners at the local level. This article shows that major demographic shifts are going to mean major changes in our patterns in our cities as we become a 'greying' society.
"While 62 percent of the total U.S. population was classified as non-Hispanic white in 2013, when public schools start this fall their racial landscape will reflect a different America."
A new report new shows the changing demographics in American education and how it differs from that of the general population. The demographic shifts in the United States are transforming the cultural fabric of the country and this interactive feature from the Pew Research Center explores some of these changes. What are some of the reasons and what are some of the impacts?
"Daily oil production in the Bakken is approaching one million barrels per day, placing it in an elite group of only ten super-giant oil fields in the world that have ever produced that much oil at peak production. In total, nearly one billion barrels of oil have now been produced in the Bakken oil fields, and all of that oil production and related activities have brought the unemployment rate in the Williston area down to below 1% in most months over the last three years. For the most recent month – April – the jobless rate here was 0.9%."
As an oil boom has transformed North Dakota, the influx of oil workers has changed all the sectors of the local economy. Agriculture has historically been the #1 economic contributor in the region, but huge piles of grain aren't be shipped to the market, as oil by rail is much more profitable.
Questions to Ponder: Why is WalMart offering such high wages in North Dakota? What local factors impact the prevailing wage rate? What does this tell us about places with low wages? How does the oil industry impact all the others in the region?
"The Pew survey sorts people into major groupings--Christians; other religions, including Jewish and Muslim; and 'unaffiliated,' which includes atheist, agnostic and 'nothing in particular.' Roll your cursor over the map to see how faiths and traditions break down by state."
This is a particularly useful interactive map with a lot of teaching applications. It is a nice visual aid to process the religious data in the United States.
Questions to Ponder: What patterns do you notice? Are there religious regions that could be drawn based on this data? What geographic factors have created the differences in the religious geographies of the United States?
Charts showing how Americans have moved between states for 112 years.
This incredible series of interactive charts from the New York Times show where the residents of every U.S. state were born and how that data has changed over time (update: now available as an interactive map). This graph of Florida shows that around 1900, most people living in Florida were from the South. Around the middle of the 20th century more people from other parts of the U.S. and from outside the U.S. started moving in. What changes in U.S. society led to these demographic shifts? How has demographics of your state changes over the last 114 years?
On the flip side, many people have been leaving California and this article charts the demographic impact of Californians on other states.
In 1990, the manufacturing industry was the leading employer in most U.S. states, followed by retail trade. In 2003, retail trade was the leading employer in a majority of states. By 2013, health care and social assistance was the dominant industry in 34 states. This animated map shows the top industry in each state and the District of Columbia from 1990 to 2013.
Have you even wanted to explore an interactive map of the United States and be able to click on any neighborhood to see the local population age structure and compare that to the national, state or county data? If not, you don't know what you've been missing. This is a fantastic resource that lets you and your students explore the data AND ask spatial questions. It's definitely one that I'll add to my list of favorite resources.
Both Hispanics and Asians been among the fastest-growing racial/ethnic groups in recent years, but since 2010, number of Asians have increased at a faster rate.
It is often noted that the cultural composition of the United States is undergoing a shift, referred to by some as the "Browning of America." The story of Asian and Hispanic growth in the United States are occurring simultaneously, which makes many assume that they are growing for the same reasons. The data clearly shows that this is not the case.
This interactive map, produced by University of Georgia historian Claudio Saunt to accompany his new book West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776, offers a time-lapse vision of the transfer of Indian land between 1776 and 1887. As blue “Indian homelands” disappear, small red areas appear, indicating the establishment of reservations (above is a static image of the map; visit the map's page to play with its features).
In the past I've shared maps that show the historic expansion of the United States--a temporal and spatial visualization of Manifest Destiny. The difference with this interactive is that the narrative focuses on the declining territory controlled by Native Americans instead of the growth of the United States. That may seem a minor detail, but how history is told shapes our perception of events, identities and places.
Cities like Washington and San Francisco are gaining the highly skilled but losing their less-educated workforce.
This article, with its charts and interactive maps, is worth exploring to show some of the important spatial patterns of internal migration. It's not hard to realize that larger, cosmopolitan metro areas will have an advantage in attracting and keeping prospective college graduates; the question that we should be asking our students is how will this impact neighborhoods, cities and regions?
Today's volume of immigrants, in some ways, is a return to America’s past.
The source of migrants today has changed the cultural composition of the United States from what is was 100 years ago. Cultures are not static and migration is one of the key drivers of change. These maps produced by the Pew Research Center. Despite what media reports would have you believe, immigration into the United States is not on the rise, but maps such as these can be construed to imagine that there is a flow of immigrant coming from south of the border. The reality is that migration from Mexico to the United States has steadily dropped since 1999.
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a tremendously entertaining and incredibly informative professional development evening at the APHG reading (that isn’t an easy combination to pull of either, and he did marvelously). Dr. James Johnson is a trained geographer teaching in the School of Business at the University of North Carolina. His talk, entitled “Disruptive Demographics: Implications for Global Competitiveness” (PDF file available here-- video of an earlier version is here) follows in a tradition of superb presentation at the reading; in 2012, Roger Downs gave a great professional development presentation on geographic expertise.
|Suggested by Kara Charboneau|
"The U.S. population rose by just 0.72% in 2013, the lowest growth rate in more than 70 years. Not only has the country become less-attractive to immigrants than in years past, with net immigration down from nearly 1.2 million as of 2001 to 843,145 last year, but also the U.S.'s domestic birth rate has dropped to a multi-decade low.
While the population of most of the country's metro areas grew at a low pace in recent years, in a small number of metro areas the population actually shrank. Looking at the most recent years, the U.S. population rose by just 2.4% between April 2010 and July 2013, but in 30 metro areas the population shrank by at least 1%. The population in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, fell a nation-leading 4.4% in that time. Based on recently released U.S. Census Bureau estimates, 24/7 Wall St. examined the cities with shrinking populations."
Demographic transformations are dramas in slow motion. America is in the midst of two right now. Our population is becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray.
The demographic shifts in the United States are transforming the cultural fabric of the country and this interactive feature from the Pew Research Center explores some of these changes. Interracial marriage, declining fertility rates, migration, economic opportunities and politics are just some of the issues that can be seen in these excellent populations pyramids, charts, videos and graphs.