Six Hundred Atlantic

Season 1: A House Divided: Geographic Disparities in 21st Century America Season 1: A House Divided: Geographic Disparities in 21st Century America

The American story tells us our possibilities are limited only by our aspirations. But what if when it comes to our financial, physical, and emotional well-being, where we were born and live is more important than ever? This season, Six Hundred Atlantic takes a look at “geographic disparities” – widening gaps in economic and social well-being between regions. We’ll explore “superstar cities,” and declining rural areas. We’ll ask why people aren’t moving, even after their prospects have dried up, and if that’s impacting life and death. We’re also going to ask if it’s time to start thinking differently about how to close these disparities, because they’re getting wider, and that matters for our future.

Episode 1: A House Divided

Runtime: 15:16 — Does where you are born and live matter when it comes to educational opportunity? To how much money you’ll make? To how long you’ll live? The answer to all those questions is yes, and these regional disparities are only getting worse. Why is this happening, what can be done, and how do policymakers need to think differently?

Episode 2: Superstars Rise, Others Stall

Runtime: 19:54 — Rural areas are by no means the only places struggling in America, but there’s no denying their problems. Decades-long trends show despair is up in rural America and economic growth is down. Meanwhile, “superstar cities” are headed in exactly the opposite direction. These high-demand locales with high incomes offer a stark contrast to places in long decline and accent an urban-rural divide that policymakers say must be closed.

Episode 3: Go West, No Longer

Runtime: 17:21 — For decades, Americans took this famous advice: “Go West, young man!” But fewer are today. Interstate migration has been dropping for years. People aren’t moving, even from bad economic situations or places with no future. The question is whether the unwillingness or inability of people to move is worsening regional economic and social divisions.

Episode 4: Life, Death, and Your Address

Runtime: 17:17 — Research shows that where people are from can be extremely important to their health, including how long they’ll live. But why? As economists try to make sense of this, some are exploring regional levels of sentiments like hope, purpose, and happiness. They say these subjective feelings can be measured with hard data, and they have undeniable impacts on how long – and how well – people live.

Episode 5: Time for Place?

Runtime: 17:47 — The blunt truth is this: Many communities that were struggling economically decades ago are still struggling now. Existing policies simply aren’t working. Is it time to think about “place?” Economists traditionally have focused on policies aimed at improving an individual’s prospects and been skeptical about policies that focus on helping particular places. But some say the time for "place" is now.

Today, Tomorrow, and COVID-19 – A Conversation

Runtime: 23:44 — This season of Six Hundred Atlantic focuses on growing regional gaps in variables such as income or health – trends that are decades in the making. Now, they’re being shaped by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Are cities in trouble? Are rural areas poised for a rebound? Urbanist Richard Florida and economist Edward Glaeser join Six Hundred Atlantic for a conversation about our post-pandemic future.