The Rise Of The Third Coast: The Gulf Regionís Ascendancy In U.S.
Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011

By Joel Kotkin
NEW GEOGRAPHER


For most of the nationís history, the Atlantic region ó primarily New York City ó has dominated the nationís trade. In the last few decades of the 20th Century, the Pacific, led by Los Angeles and Long Beach, gained prominence. Now we may be about to see the ascendancy of a third coast: the Gulf, led primarily by Houston but including New Orleans and a host of smaller ports across the regions.

The 600,000 square mile Gulf region has long been derided for its humid climate, conservative political traditions and vulnerability to natural disasters. Yet despite these factors, the Gulf is destined to emerge as the most economically vibrant of our three coasts. In Forbesí rankings of the fastest-growing job markets in the country, six Gulf cities made the top 50: Houston, Corpus Christi and Brownsville, in Texas; New Orleans; and Gulfport-Biloxi and Pascagoula, in Mississippi. In contrast, just one Pacific port, Anchorage, Alaska, and one small Atlantic port, Portsmouth, N.H., made the cut.

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