Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Futures Forecast

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Futures Forecast

Article excerpt

Less Government Growth

Government is unlikely to grow rapidly in the forseeable future. That's the prediction offered in a recent policy brief from the Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism project.

"It is impossible to rule out some future expansion of state and local government as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP)," says Rudolph G. Penner, author of A Brief History of State and Local Fiscal Policy. "However, it is difficult to imagine growth as vigorous as that through the mid-1970s. New social programs may be invented, but the memories of the excesses of the Great Society era are sufficiently vivid to encourage restraint."

According to the policy brief, education and Medicaid expenditures accounted for approximately 60 percent of the growth in the state and local government as a percentage of GDP from 1952 to 1975.

Details: Harold Leibovitz, the Urban Institute, (202) 261-5815 or e-mail:

New `Regional Divide'

A recent study by William Frey of the Milken Institute in Santa Monica, Calif. reports that the latest migration statistics show that foreign-born immigrants continue to migrate to multi-ethnic urban areas. Among those areas are New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Washington-Baltimore, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Frey's research also indicates that native-born citizens show patterns of migration to "economic opportunities" in other parts of the country such as Phoenix, Portland, Austin, Nashville, and Tampa-St. Petersburg.

According to Frey, "our contention that a new demographic divide is emerging as a parallel process to new immigration and domestic migration patterns, holds important implications for regional social and political cleavages for the economies of high immigration labor markets and the upward mobility and assimilation of immigrants. …

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