Congested US Cities from Space

Data in this video comes from Global Insight's report to the United States Conference of Mayors and The Council on Metro Economies and the New American City. According to the report, economic growth in US metropolitan areas in the coming decades will test their infrastructures. Employment and population are two major drivers for congestion-related costs.

Over the next decade, the 15 metros with the largest increases in employment will be adding at least a quarter of a million jobs each. The strain on current transportation infrastructure cannot be understated as 12 of these 15 metros already rank among the 15 highest in congestion per commuter.

In addition to employment growth, which will put further strain on rush hour commutes, general population gains will also contribute to congestion. Population growth will be highest in the South, including Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Miami - four of the top five largest population gainers through 2020.

Over the longer-term, the picture is not any better. Total metro area population will grow by 32% from 2012-2042 and will be especially fast in some of the nation's largest metros. Population will advance by over 50% in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Tampa, Denver, San Antonio, and by over 80% in Phoenix, Riverside, and Orlando. Houston and Dallas already rank among the most congested metros; if there is not significant investment in infrastructure congestion costs will be astronomical and will stifle long-term economic potential.

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