AEI Politics Watch, Session II
America in 2050
About This Event

In stark contrast to the rest of the world's advanced nations, the United States is growing at a record rate and, according to census projections, will be home to 400 million Americans by 2050. Noted author and urban historian Joel Kotkin points out in his new book, The Next Hundred Listen to Audio

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Million: America in 2050 (Penguin Press, February 2010), that this projected rise in population is the strongest indicator of America's long-term economic strength as it will make the United States more diverse and competitive than any other nation.

What will America look like in 2050? How will the United States' population growth contribute to its economic vitality? What will be the political impact of these population changes? These and other questions will be addressed by Kotkin, AEI economist and demographer Nicholas Eberstadt, political scientist Ruy Teixeira, and demographer and sociologist William Frey. AEI resident fellow Michael Barone will moderate the discussion.

This event is part of AEI's new Politics Watch series, which runs this year from January through May 2010.


Speaker biographies

Michael Barone, a political analyst and journalist, studies politics, American government, and campaigns and elections. The principal coauthor of the annual Almanac of American Politics (National Journal Group), he has written many books on American politics and history. Mr. Barone is also a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.

Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist and a demographer by training, is also a senior adviser to the National Board of Asian Research, a member of the visiting committee at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a member of the Global Leadership Council at the World Economic Forum. He researches and writes extensively on economic development, foreign aid, global health, demographics, and poverty. He is the author of numerous monographs and articles on North and South Korea, East Asia, and countries of the former Soviet Union. His books range from The End of North Korea (AEI Press, 1999) to The Poverty of the Poverty Rate (AEI Press, 2008).

William Frey is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program and a research professor in population studies at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Mr. Frey specializes in issues involving state and regional populations, migration, immigration, race, aging, political demographics, and the U.S. Census. He has authored or coauthored over 150 articles and books, including America by the Numbers: A Field Guide to the U.S. Population (New Press, 2001) and The Allyn & Bacon Social Atlas of the United States (Pearson, 2008). Mr. Frey has been a contributing editor of American Demographics magazine. He frequently discusses demographic trends in national media venues.

Joel Kotkin is a distinguished presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University in Orange County and an adjunct fellow with the London-based Legatum Institute. He is the author of six books, including The City: A Global History, The New Geography: How The Digital Revolution Is Reshaping the Global Landscape, and Tribes: How Race, Religion and Identity Determine Success in the New Global Economy. He writes the weekly New Geographer column for and a monthly column for In addition, Mr. Kotkin has written extensively for the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The American, and the Washington Post.

Ruy Teixeira is a senior fellow at both the Century Foundation and the Center for American Progress, as well as a fellow at the New Politics Institute. He was recently a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and wrote a series of reports with William Frey on the political geography of battleground states in the 2008 election. He is the author or coauthor of six books, including Red, Blue, and Purple America: The Future of Election Demographics; The Emerging Democratic Majority; America's Forgotten Majority: Why the White Working Class Still Matters; and The Disappearing American Voter, as well as hundreds of articles, both scholarly and popular.

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