2020 Standard of Living Index

Urban Reform Institute has developed the Standard of Living Index to facilitate comparisons between metropolitan areas. The Index combines a cost of living index with median household incomes in the 107 metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 residents.

A Policy of Delusion and Misdirection

A new report authored by Joel Kotkin, Ali Modarres, and Wendell Cox examines how California's planning policies are contributing to the affordable housing crisis. An excerpt follows and a link to read/download the entire report.
Urban high rise housing in Singapore

A Look At Demographia’s Latest Housing Affordability Survey

by Prakash Loungani — In this interview, Wendell Cox talks about Demographia’s latest housing affordability survey. Wendell Cox is an American urban policy analyst and academic. He is the principal of Demographia (Wendell Cox Consultancy). The survey is co-authored with Hugh Pavletich of Performance Urban Planning.
Corner of Canal and Baxter Streets in NYC

After Coronavirus We Need to Rethink Densely Populated Cities

by Joel Kotkin — For the better part of this millennium, the nation’s urban planning punditry has predicted that the future lay with its densest, largest, and most cosmopolitan cities.
San Jose housing not affordable

Make America’s Housing Affordable Again

by Randal O'Toole — Fifty years ago, housing was affordable everywhere in the country. The 1970 census found that the statewide ratio of median home prices to median family incomes was greater than 3.0 only in Hawaii (where it was 3.04). Price-to-income ratios were under 2.5 in every other state, and under 2.2 in California, New York, and other states that today are considered unaffordable.
The Economist cover - and some housing facts

To The Economist: Planning, Not Home Ownership, Caused the Housing Crisis

by Wendell Cox — The January 16, 2020 cover story in The Economist magazine trumpeted “The West’s biggest economic policy mistake: It’s obsession with home ownership undermines growth, fairness and public faith in capitalism...”

California Preening: Golden State on Path to High-Tech Feudalism

by Joel Kotkin — “We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta....” declared then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. In truth, the Golden State is becoming a semi-feudal kingdom, with the nation’s widest gap between middle and upper incomes—72 percent, compared with the U.S. average of 57 percent—and its highest poverty rate.

Cities, Suburbs, and the New America

by SMU Video — SMU-Cox Folsom Institute for Real Estate, the SMU Economics Center, and the Center for Opportunity Urbanism presented a lively discussion on Cities, Suburbs, and the New America, and Minorities, Immigrants, and Millennials in America’s Favorite Geography.
San Joaquin county aerial photoWendell Cox

The Expanding and Dispersing San Francisco Bay Area

by Wendell Cox — This decade has witnessed an unprecedented expansion of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area (the San Jose-San Francisco combined statistical area or CSA), with the addition of three Central Valley metropolitan areas, Stockton, Modesto and Merced. Over the same period, there has been both a drop in the population growth rate and a shift of growth to the Central Valley exurban metropolitan areas.

Forced Upzoning is Bad Policy, But Here’s How We Can Mitigate Its Impacts

by John Mirisch — A number of bills in California's legislature attempt to “solve” the state’s housing challenges by overriding local municipal zoning ordinances and allowing developers to build up to Sacramento-mandated levels of density. The most notable of these bills is SB50, which has no provision for affordable housing, but espouses a “trickle-down” theory that building market-rate (i.e. luxury) housing will “filter” down to create more affordable housing.