“The sense that the normal America is out there somewhere in a hamlet is misplaced: it’s not in a small town at all. I calculated how demographically similar each U.S. metropolitan area is to the U.S. overall, based on age, educational attainment, and race and ethnicity.1 The index equals 100 if a metro’s demographic mix were identical to that of the U.S. overall.”
We often do imagine that your typical American is from the Heartland, and that very term, strengthens that connotation. 100 years ago that was true that your average American was one a farm or a small town, as 72% of Americans lived in rural areas. Today, that is decidedly not the case but we still sometimes think (and act) as if it were (84% today live in urban areas). The United States is urban, diverse, and bi-coastal in it’s primary demographic composition.