These 6 maps show the future of the US economy through infrastructure

Eric Garland Economic trends Leave a Comment

The only part of the “transition” – if you can call it that – of the China-insulting, lunatic nominating Trump Administration is this notion that there might be a spending spree on infrastructure. This is the first policy idea that isn’t, out of the gate, a complete and total dumpster fire such as suspending all climate research or canceling Medicare just as all the Boomers go to retire. Nope, investing directly in infrastructure is the first idea so far that isn’t in the global-order decimating, business-risking camp of lunacy.

I love infrastructure; huge bang for a huge buck. In fact, my company Competitive Futures produced a report on the future of infrastructure almost ten years ago when we identified it as critical to GDP growth when compared with strategic competitors such as China who were investing

Lo and behold: the ability to power things, ship goods, and move people is a really good thing for the economy.

So while the jury is out on whether this will actually be a trillion-dollar investment in the future of the United States or just another tax break hustle from a famous grifter, let’s at least think through what the implications might be.

he Washington Post has been ratcheting up its quality reporting these days, and I love this new article about visualizing the American economy through its infrastructure.

Through these maps you can differentiate the old from the new, see how the country really is wired up for the Rust Belt, how much agriculture is in the Midwest and more.


Map of U.S. electrical grid, transmission lines

US electrical grid infrastructure


Map of U.S. bridges, plus those in need of repair


Map of U.S. railroad lines


Map of U.S. inland waterway freight tonnage


Map of U.S. pipeline infrastructure, crude oil & natural gaswashington-post-map-us-pipeline-infrastructure

Map of U.S. power plant infrastructure, by source type