Vox’ Matthew Yglesias: The Argument for Massive Population Growth

Vox co-founder and author Matthew Yglesias lays out his argument for why he thinks America can and should get to a population of 1 billion by the year 2100.

A popular American mentality is that bigger is better.

“For places like Southeast Michigan, the fact that the tax base has eroded becomes a big challenge in updating infrastructure.” — Matt Yglesias, Vox

Whether or not you agree with it, we see it in the size of our cars, our meals, our homes. And now, a well-known writer who wants to take that one step further with a supersized population goal for the United States of 1 billion people.

Listen: Vox co-founder and author Matthew Yglesias on the benefits of a larger American population.


Matthew Yglesias is the co-founder of Vox, co-host of “The Weeds” podcast and the author of the newly released “One Billion Americans: The Case For Thinking Bigger.”

Yglesias argues for a population of one billion in the U.S. by the year 2100 and he approaches it from the perspective of reimagining America’s place on the global stage. In his new book, Yglesias writes about the many ways this goal can be achieved, including a pretty radical overhaul of our immigration and housing policies.

When looking at cities like Detroit, Yglesias says “when you start re-peopling [these places], the incredible assets that they have become valuable again.”

However, he notes that issues like infrastructure, immigration and systemic racism are major hurdles to overcome before we can get to a place of equitable population growth. 

“If broadband was better in some rural areas, more people would move there. For other places like Southeast Michigan, the fact that the tax base has eroded becomes a big challenge in updating infrastructure.”

On a more open immigration policy, Yglesias says that “we should make it possible for people to come because it makes us more prosperous. There’s incredible opportunity in being a country that people all over the world want to move.”

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