Everyone wants to live near water

A stunning map shows how living on America’s coasts really is so different
[Via Ezra Klein]

You probably know that New York City is an expensive place to live. But did you know that the total value of property in Manhattan is about the same as the total in Michigan? Or that the total value of property in Queens is on par with that of Louisiana?

Max Galka, who runs the blog Metrocosm, has created a series of fascinating maps that show just how much wealth is locked up in the towering property values of America’s coasts.

This gif below, for example, cycles from a map of the U.S. where each county is colored to reflect the total value of its property to a special kind of map called a cartogram. For the cartogram, Galka enlarged or shrunk the land area of each state to represent its total property value, using data from The Economist.



Property values go up when lots of people want to live in the same place. So, these maps show where Americans want to live, demonstrating this with their pocketbooks.

And almost all the most wealthy counties by property values are near a body of water. Dallas, Phoenix and Tucson are some excetptions. 

But besides those cities in Texas and Florida, most of the South simply disappears. One would have expected North Carolina and Georgia to be doing better.

Image: Nicolas Raymond