Top Brookings content of 2019

Festive decorations and illumination lights for the upcoming New Year and Christmas season are unveiled in Minsk, Belarus December 15 , 2019.  REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko - RC2WVD9TR4BT

As 2019 draws to a close, here’s a look back at some of the most popular content pieces published on our website over the last year.

10. Foresight Africa: Top priorities for the continent in 2019

Foresight Africa 2019 site banner

In Foresight Africa 2019, experts from the Africa Growth Initiative and also from outside Brookings illuminated the priorities of the African continent, delving into six overarching themes with recommendations for tackling the challenges that lie ahead.

9. What’s next for Lebanon? Examining the implications of current protests

Demonstrators carry national flags as riot police stand guard behind barbed wire during an anti-government protest in Beirut, Lebanon October 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC114D4AE1A0

Jeffrey Feltman, the John C. Whitehead Visiting Fellow in International Diplomacy in the Foreign Policy program, testified on the unrest in Lebanon to a subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, observing how “the demonstrations and the reactions to them by Lebanese leaders and institutions fortunately coincide with U.S. interests.”

8. German Lessons – Thirty years after the end of history: Elements of an education

Berlin Wall in Los Angeles, California

Constanze Stelzenmüller, a senior fellow at Brookings and the Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress, authored the inaugural Foreign Policy essay, “German Lessons: Thirty Years after the End of History, elements of an education,” in which she explored the lessons that were in store for her, her fellow Germans, Europe, and the world after the fall of the wall in 1989.

7. Tracking deregulation in the Trump era

U.S. President Donald Trump cuts a red tape while speaking about deregulation at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RC1D5597AAF0

The Trump administration has major deregulatory ambitions. But how much deregulation is actually happening? This tracker, first developed by the Center on Regulation and Markets in 2017 and updated regularly, helps you monitor a selection of delayed, repealed, and new rules, notable guidance and policy revocations, and important court battles across eight major categories, including environmental, health, labor, and more.

6. How will we know when a recession is coming?

Shot of a group of businesspeople standing in line in an office

Despite strong GDP and job growth in recent years, another economic downturn will be inevitable. The Hamilton Project explored the most direct approaches to identify recessions—including a rapidly increasing unemployment rate—in order to plan a timely response that can mitigate damages.

5. Six maps that reveal America’s expanding racial diversity

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Demographer William H. Frey, senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program, unpacked the trends of America’s “diversity explosion” across the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.

4. How many undocumented immigrants are in the United States and who are they?

Immigrants are sworn in as new U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RC1AFC189020

Estimates of the size of the undocumented population vary according to the methodology used. While anti-immigrant groups maintain that the flow of undocumented immigrants has increased, estimates show that over a longer period the number has declined. An often-overlooked fact is that many illegal immigrants pay payroll taxes and sales taxes. In their Voter Vitals explainer for Policy 2020, Elaine Kamarck and Christine Stenglein looked at the facts behind this complex issue.

3. America has two economies—and they’re diverging fast

mainstreet bank

Red and blue America dramatically represent different segments of the economy. The Metropolitan Policy Program’s Mark Muro and Jacob Whiton explained what you need to know to understand this increasing divide.

2. Six facts about wealth in the United States

A high priced home sits for sale near St. Charles, Illinois September 24, 2009. Despite some signs that the worst of the U.S. residential housing crisis may be over, many wealthy homeowners are still being squeezed by the combination of weak home prices and the stock market crash. Picture taken September 24, 2009. To match feature USA-HOUSING/WEALTHY. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES BUSINESS) - GM1E5AE0NWU01

“The United States is a rich country,” wrote Economic Studies’ Isabel Sawhill and Christopher Pulliam, “but it is becoming one in which a very small number of citizens own most of the wealth, and from which both younger Americans and the broad middle class are failing to benefit.”

1. Trump and racism: What do the data say?

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump look on as Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., August 1, 2019. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston - RC179FD13B60

Governance Studies’ Vanessa Williamson and Isabella Gelfand wrote that experimental evidence has shown that racist political rhetoric can shift people’s attitudes. “When the data show that President Trump’s support stems from racist and sexist beliefs,” they argue, “and that his election emboldened Americans to engage in racist behavior, it is the responsibility of social scientists and other political observers to say so.”