The Manhattan Institute has released a report identifying four “growth corridors” it sees as essential to the US economic recovery. And they are not the usual “coastal” suspects:
Over the past decade-and, in some cases, far longer-these regions have created more jobs and gained more population than their counterparts along the ocean coasts or along the Great Lakes.
The four growth corridors are:
1. The Great Plains region, made up of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas
2. The “Third Coast” stretch of counties whose shores abut the Gulf of Mexico and which range through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida
3. The “Intermountain West,” consisting of counties in the north of New Mexico and Arizona, parts of eastern California and western regions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, as well as the non-coastal eastern regions of Oregon and Washington and all of Idaho, Utah, and Nevada
4. The “Southeast Manufacturing Belt” of counties in eastern Arkansas, all of Tennessee, and large swaths of Kentucky, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and southwestern Virginia
These regions have different histories and different trajectories into the future, but they share certain key drivers of economic growth: lower costs (particularly for housing); better business climates; and population growth. Some have benefited from the strong global market for commodities, particularly food, natural gas, and oil. Others are expanding because of a resurgence in manufacturing in the United States.