From race and immigration to education and poverty, American society is in flux. Until public officials grasp the full dimension of how this nation has changed over the past decade, it will be nearly impossible to shape sound policies for the next ten years. An expert team of demographers, public policy analysts and economists has analyzed data from the last decade to identify critical challenges facing our nation in the years ahead, and to portray the complex metropolitan map against which those challenges will play out.
On Tuesday, May 11, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings unveiled its State of Metropolitan America. The report documents a decade of dynamic economic and social change, and five key trends—population growth and outward expansion, growing racial and ethnic diversity, a large aging population, wide disparities in educational attainment, and polarizing incomes—that demand a renewed national public policy focus. These challenges differ dramatically in magnitude across the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, however, and compel local and regional leaders to confront the issues most pressing to them in ways that transcend the increasingly blurry socioeconomic lines between cities and suburbs.
Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin introduced the report, and Brookings Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program Bruce Katz presented its key findings. Following the presentation, leaders from government, business and educational sectors discussed the report’s implications for public policy, private markets, and the upcoming elections.
After the presentations, speakers took questions from the audience.