Can anyone recommend a good book on US demographics?
August 15, 2004 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a good book on US demographics? Ideally, I'd like an overview of major demographic trends, with engaging vignettes demonstrating the impact on individual communities etc etc. I'm especially interested in the geography / demographics intersection - how is the population distribution changing? Who's going where?
posted by lbergstr to Society & Culture (9 answers total)
 
There's several books you could examine, lbergstr - the Statistical Abstract of the United States the CIA World Factbook, and the World Almanac are but a scant few. There's others, but those would be among the first to check.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:09 PM on August 15, 2004


Response by poster: Thanks, those will be useful references as I get into this. Right now, I'm less interested in pure numbers than in a big-picture analysis of major trends and their likely impacts, though.
posted by lbergstr at 4:35 PM on August 15, 2004


Check out Understanding USA - it's an outstanding report that covers all aspects of US demographics and trends, created by some of the best information designers out there. Even better, it's completely free for download as PDF or graphics. Not so hot on the vignettes (in fact, there are none) but excellent on everything else.
posted by adrianhon at 4:38 PM on August 15, 2004


I smell a grant proposal...
posted by Grod at 4:47 PM on August 15, 2004


Not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but there was this current book I read about six months ago, in which, the author divides the US population into 62 classes and presents info on each, like income range, lifestyle, voting trends, consumption trends, where they stay...etc. Unfortunately, I can't recall the exact title, but the subtitle was something like "who you are, where you live...". Maybe, someone can help out further.
posted by Gyan at 5:35 PM on August 15, 2004


Response by poster: I smell a grant proposal...

Ha! No. Just got curious about rising house prices in cities (housing bubble aside) and went from there.

Thanks adrian, that link is great. You should post it to the front page.

Keep 'em coming.
posted by lbergstr at 6:19 PM on August 15, 2004


Evidently the best information designers don't use laptops (man that type was small). Good stuff nonetheless.
posted by skyscraper at 8:08 PM on August 15, 2004


this current book I read about six months ago, in which, the author divides the US population into 62 classes and presents info on each, like income range, lifestyle, voting trends, consumption trends, where they stay...etc. Unfortunately, I can't recall the exact title, but the subtitle was something like "who you are, where you live..."

Are you thinking of The Clustered World? It's really good, and I'd recommend it. It uses the PRIZM system of demographic clusters created by Claritas, which has an interesting website which can give you the top five clusters for your ZIP code.

Don't forget the US Census Bureau's awesome collection of resources. American FactFinder is particularly good.

And I haven't read it in a while, but American Demographics magazine is a good read, tho not cheap.

And it doesn't really fit what you're most interested in (because it's mostly focused on history), but the single best demographics book I've read, hands down, is Generations by Strauss and Howe. It's spawned several sequels, all of which are worth reading.
posted by Vidiot at 9:57 PM on August 15, 2004 [1 favorite]


This is a global perspective, and thusly, it's not exactly what you're looking for. But I figure that it can't hurt and might have some data that's interesting (the 2000(?) version that I have has a page or two devoted to urbanization.

The State of the World Atlas
posted by zpousman at 6:58 AM on August 16, 2004


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