America 2040: The rise of the megapolitans

Robert E. Lang, Arthur C. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


By 2040, the US is ready to add another 100M residents which will be located in super regions that combines at least two, and often several, metropolitan areas, known as "megapolitan areas" or "megas" for short. Currently, regions with multiple cities, like Phoenix and Tucson, Tampa and Orlando, and San Antonio and Austin, are exhibiting the same pattern, where Dallas and Fort Worth converged in the 1960s, but on a more massive scale. The megapolitan concept was developed to depict where the next 100 million Americans will live. It is found 20 emerging megapolitan areas that are based on the US Census Bureau's definition of a combined statistical area (CSA). The main criterion for a census-defined CSA is economic interdependence, as evidenced by overlapping commuting patterns. Today, organizations like the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the New York-based Regional Plan Association are also developing strategies in managing future metropolitan expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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