The Future of the United States

The Social and Technological Forces Reshaping the Country

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Frost & Sullivan's research service on The Future of the United States offers a comprehensive analysis of the Mega Trends that will impact American citizens and businesses through 2025. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts highlight the imminent challenges and opportunities for growth stemming from the following trends:Social, Higher education, Politics, Industry, Health, wellness and wellbeing, Urbanization, Infrastructure, Mobility, Energy, Security and defense, Economics, Connectivity, Smart is the new greenThe study also offers strategic recommendations and predictions backed by relevant facts and statistics.

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary
In 2025, the United States Will be a Land of Quantification
A Network Culture Will Shape American Lives
Work in the United States Will be Smarter and More Human-centric
Collaboration Will Define Both Professional and Personal Lives
Competition in the United States Will be Reconfigured
Top US Disruptors through 2025
Macro-to-micro Analysis of Key Mega Trends, with Examples, US, 2015–2025
2. Research Methodology and Key Definitions
Research Methodology—From Macro-to-micro
List of Definitions
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
3. Social Trends
Key Findings
North America’s 2025 Population Will be Smaller Than Other Regions
As Millennials Rise, so Will Their Influence
Millennials Display Common Characteristics
The US Racial Composition Will be More Diverse
The US Hispanic Culture is Evolving
The US Immigrant Population Will Grow
The She-conomy Will Strengthen
Aging Americans Will Form an Important Demographic
Aging Americans Will be Unlike Their Previous Counterparts
The Working-age Support Burden Will be Greater
Job Automation Threatens Parts of the Working Population
American Incomes Will Continue to Polarize
With Income Polarization Comes Drivers and Opportunities
Social Trend Implications
4. Higher Education Trends
Key Findings
College Attendance Will Increase
Demand for College-educated Americans Will Continue to Grow
Higher Education Costs Will Continue to Rise
Student Debt Burden is Worsening
Does the US Government Profit from Student Loans?
Student Debt Has Negative, Lifelong Repercussions
Technology Evolves Learning Methods
Higher Education Reveals Widening Racial Gaps
Projected Increase in STEM-related Jobs
5. Political Trends
Key Findings
eGovernance and mGovernance Increase Efficiency
Population Density Drives Innovative Mobility Strategies in US Cities
The Balance of the US Supreme Court Hinges on 2016
Key Business Issues Will be on the Court’s Docket
Persistent Polarization in Congress May Weaken Its Role
State and Local Government Influence is Increasing
The Hispanic Vote Will be More Important but Less Cohesive
6. Future US Industry Trends
Key Findings
Future US Industries to Experience Growth
Future US Industries Will Grow with Technology Adoption
Bricks-and-Clicks Retailing Influences Shoppers
Technology- Game Changers are Born in the United States
Technologies Will Continue Disrupting Industries
Top Industry Implications
7. Health, Wellness, and Wellbeing Trends
Key Findings
Chronic Health Problems Weigh Down the US Healthcare System
Healthcare Becomes Decentralized
Technology is in Place for Home Healthcare Solutions
The “Quantified Self” Emerges from Future Healthcare Applications
The Workplace Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle
Prevention-focused Wellness Programs Could Offset Insurance Costs
The Dietary Supplement Market Grows
What’s the Buzz on Marijuana?
Widespread Marijuana Legalization Could Impact Big Pharma
8. Urbanization Trends
Key Findings
The City Will be 2025’s Most Connected Customer
Population Density Will Rise while Trends Expand
Two Mega Regions Will Dominate the East and West Coasts
Mega Regions are Not Necessarily the Fastest Growing
What Makes a Metro Area Business Friendly?
Urban Core Population Will Continue to Swell
Suburban Rings Will Continue to House Most Americans
Smart Will Become the Technological Norm
San Francisco Leads the Smart City Race
Growing GDP and Spend Are Turning Cities into Customers
Boston’s SCOPE Project Embodies the Connected City
9. Infrastructure Trends
Key Findings
Pipeline Infrastructure Investments Will Grow
Utility Infrastructure Investments Will Double
New Highways Indicate Pockets of Economic Development
Waterways, Locks, and Ports Require Immediate Funding
US New High-speed Rail (HSR) Development
New Freight Rail Development Offers Cheaper Transport
Hot Topic—Water in Fracking to Continue Making Headlines
10. Mobility Trends
Key Findings
Diverse Forces Are Shifting the Mobility Landscape
Population Density Drives Innovative Mobility Strategies in US Cities
Mobility Options Will Increase for Every Journey
Intercity Bus Mobility May Outpace High-speed Rail
The Suburban Commute Will be Smarter
Alternative Fuel Vehicles Will See Continued Growth
Intra-city Public Transit Will Have More Options
Conflicting Policies Limit Public Transit Adoption
Ride Sharing and eHailing Will Yield to Autonomous Taxis
Car Sharing Offers Alternatives to Ownership for Urban Residents
Emerging Micro-mobility Solutions Will Not Go Far in the United States
Federal Support for Non-motorized Transport Will Increase
Macro-to-micro—Strategic Recommendations and Predictions
11. Energy Trends
Key Findings
The US Energy Outlook is Highly Vulnerable to Disruptions
Potential Disruptors, US, 2015–2025
Electricity Generation Will be More Natural Gas Reliant
The US Will Continue Being a Dominant Participant in O&G Production
Natural Gas Production Depends on Favourable Regulation
The Era of Coal’s Dominance Will Come to an End
Strengthening Renewables Requires More Holistic Assessments
Nuclear Energy Will Post Less Growth in the United States
Energy Harvesting Holds Great Promise for Cheap Energy
Solving Energy Storage is Key to Growth in Renewables
Distributed Generation is Going Smart
Climate Change Could Pose Real Threats to the Economy
12. Security and Defense Trends
Key Findings
The Threats to Security and Safety are Changing
Cybersecurity Will Experience Widespread Demand
Cybersecurity Will Adapt to a Changing Landscape
Crime Rates Continue to Fall
Increasing Natural Disasters Require Preparation and Collaboration
Safe Cities Will Emerge
Safe Cities Rely on Advancing Technologies
National Defense Will Focus on Non-traditional Actors
National Defense Spending Will Focus on Technology
Security and Defense Implications
13. Economic Trends
Key Findings
Projections for US Global Economic Standing Are Mixed
Government, Consumers, Business, and Exports Comprise the Economy
The CBO Projects Deficit Spending through 2025
Social Programs Dominate Federal Government Spend
Education Holds the Bulk of State Government Spend
Consumer Pressures May Threaten the Country’s Economic Backbone
Consumer Sentiment is Rising; Expenditure is Growing
Business Spend Favours Predictability
Indicators Point to a Recovering but Precarious Economy
US Exports Show No Sign of Overtaking Imports
Two Key Economic Influencers are Interest Rates and Trade Deals
Economic Implications
14. Connectivity Trends
Key Findings
The Internet of Things Will Become Pervasive
The Internet of Things is Creating Growth Opportunities
New Technologies Are Emerging in the IoT
The Race for 5G Will Create a New Standard for Connectivity
Efforts to Close the Digital Divide Will Increase in Importance
New Methods of Internet Access Will be Tested
Net Neutrality is Likely Here to Stay
Public Perceptions of Privacy are Mixed
Privacy Concerns with Big Data May Drive Self-regulation
Connectivity Implications
15. Smart is the New Green
Key Findings
Smart is Connected
Smart is Embedded within Most Devices
Smart Converses
Smart Technology Implications
16. The Last Word
3 Big Predictions
Legal Disclaimer
17. Appendix
Full List of Slide Titles


List of Figures & Charts

1. US % of Global Middle Class Population
2. Percent of Jobs that Require College Education, US, 1973, 1992, 2010, and 2020
3. Change in Government R&D Funding, US, 2010–2011
4. Top Issues for Hispanic Registered Voters, US, 2013
5. States with Largest Nonresidential Construction Expenditures CAGR, US, 2002–2013
6. US HSR Network Compared to Other Regions, 2015
7. City Mobility Options Ranked By Population Density, US, 2014
8. Average Q2 Ride Fares, US, 2015
9. Difference in Market Share by Fuel Source, US, 2012 and 2025
10. Projected Cost for Electricity, US, 2025*
11. Approximate Annual Government Subsidy, US, 2014
12. Annual Negative Economic Consequences of Use, US, 2014
13. Pressures Influencing Consumer Spend, US, 2015 and 2025

1. Population, Global, 2015 and 2025
2. Projected Population Breakdown by Region and Age, Global, 2025
3. Projected Generational Breakdown, US, 2015, 2020, and 2025*
4. Racial Composition of Population Over Time, US, 2015, 2025, and 2050
5. Significant Population Changes, US, 2015, 2025, 2050
6. Expected Hispanic Generational Breakdown, US, 2025
7. Immigration Projections, US, 2015, 2025, and 2050
8. US Immigration in Context, Select Developed Countries, 2005
9. Number of Women in the Workforce, US, 2015 and 2025
10. Labor Force Breakdown Projections by Sex, US, 2025
11. Median Hourly Earnings of Women as a Percentage of Men’s, US, 2012
12. 65+ Population Growth, US, 2015 and 2025
13. Old-Age-Dependency Ratio* and Concerns, Selected Countries, 2050 and 2012
14. Working Age Ratio to Total Population, US, 2015 and 2025
15. Unemployment Rate by Age Group, US, 2013
16. Household Income Distribution*, US, 2013
17. Consumption Trend Changes for Highest and Lowest Earners, US, 2008 and 2013
18. Total Enrollment of College Students, US, 1996, 2010, and 2021
19. Total Enrollment in Degree-Granting Post-Secondary Institutions, Part Time and Full Time, US, 1996, 2010, and 2021
20. US Supply and Demand for College-educated Workers, US, 1970–2010
21. Relative Income of High School- and College-educated Workers, US, 1980, 2010, and 2025
22. Unemployment Rate, US, 2013
23. Projected Average Annual Higher Education Costs, US, 2015–2025*
24. Total Projected Student Debt*, US, 2003, 2013, and 2025
25. Federal Government Profits from Student Loans, US, 2013 and 2024
26. Estimated Losses to the Economy from Projected Student Debt, US, 2025
27. Loss in Lifetime Household Wealth from Student Loans, US, 2010
28. Impact of Compound Interest on Student Loans*, US, 2013
29. Percentage of those Aged 25 or Older With a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher by Race, US, 2013 and 2025
30. Percentage of Students with College Loans, US, 2015
31. Median Household Income by Race, US, 2013
32. Increase in STEM Jobs, US, 2012 and 2022
33. Congressional Legislative Action per 2-year Term, US, 1947–2014
34. Hispanic Voting in Presidential Elections, US, 1980–2012
35. Growth in Eligible Voters, US, 2012 and 2030
36. Generational Differences in Hispanic Political Views, US, 2012
37. Largest Industries and Fastest Growing Industry Subsectors by Output*, US, 2015–2022
38. Largest Manufacturing Industries, US, 2025
39. Fastest Growing Manufacturing Industries, US, 2012–2022
40. Projected Construction Industry Breakdown, US, 2020
41. Largest Stock Exchanges by Market Capitalization, Global, 2013 and 2025
42. Technology Adoption by Industry, US, 2025
43. Projected Percentage of Americans with Obesity, US, 2013–2030
44. Projected Obesity-Related Medical Expenditures, US, 2010–2030
45. Comparison of Costs Associated with
46. Different Treatment Settings, US, 2011
47. Wearable Market Value, US, 2014 and 2025
48. Total Healthcare Spend, US, 2013 and 2040
49. Dietary Supplement Market Growth, US, 2013–2018
50. The Status of Legalized Marijuana, US, 2015
51. Big Pharma and Legalized Marijuana Scenario Matrix, US, 2015–2025
52. Mega- and Smart City Trend Map, Contiguous US, 2025
53. Fastest-growing and Most Populous Metropolitan Areas, US, 2015 and 2025
54. Most Populous Metropolitan Areas with Faster-growing Urban Cores, US, 2015 and 2025
55. Most Populous Metropolitan Areas with Faster-growing Suburban Peripheries, US, 2015 and 2025
56. Projected Nominal Metro GDP in USD and as a Percentage of the Economy, US, 2025
57. Top 10 Metros with Highest Projected GDPs, US, 2015 and 2025
58. Percent Breakdown of Local Government Direct Expenditure, US, 2012
59. Tier I O&G Midstream Firms Market Share, US, 2013
60. O&G Investment Breakdown, US, 2025
61. Utilities Breakdown by Ownership Model, US, 2014
62. Electrical Infrastructure Spend, US, 2015 and 2025
63. New Highway Development Targets, US, 2015–2030s
64. Costs of Renovation versus Inaction for Waterways, US, 2015 and 2025
65. Annual Investment in Waterways, US, 2015
66. Proposed HSR Lines, US, 2030
67. Cumulative Freight Rail Infrastructure Spending Trend-line, US, 2011–2025
68. Freight Shipments, US, 2010 and 2025
69. Per Capita Goods Shipment by Rail, US, 2010 and 2025
70. Freight Shipment Value, 2010 and 2025
71. Where Fracked Water Goes, US, 2014
72. Total Local Water Use, US, 2014
73. US Natural Gas Production by Extraction Method (Trillian Cubic Feet), US, 1990 and 2013
74. Vehicle Automation, US, 2014 and 2025
75. Forecasted Alternative Fuel Vehicle Sales, North America, 2015 and 2020
76. Policies Affecting Adoption of Public Transit Use in Cities, US, 2015–2025
77. Business Ground Travel, US, 2015**
78. Total Car Sharing Members, US, 2013 and 2020
79. Micro-Mobility Unit Production, US, 2011 and 2018
80. Number of Projects Funded, US, 1992–2025
81. Funding for Projects, US, 1992–2025
82. Total Energy, US, 2012 and 2025
83. Electricity Generation by Fuel Source, US, 2015 and 2025
84. Difference in Market Share, US, 2015 and 2025
85. Field Production of Crude Oil and Average Gasoline Retail Price, US, 2010–2025*
86. Shale Gas Production, US, 2008–2013
87. Natural Gas Price, US, 2005–2013
88. Fracked Gas Share, US, 2009 and 2014
89. Net Summer Generating Capacity of Plant Retirements, US, 2014–2025*
90. Total Cost of Electricity by Fuel Source, US, 2014
91. Energy Harvesting Market, US, 2015 and 2025
92. Coal Share of Emissions versus Energy Supply, US, 2025
93. Carbon Emissions by Fuel Type, US, 2015–2040
94. Total Emissions, US, 2015–2040
95. Cybersecurity Market Revenue Forecast, North America, 2010–2020
96. Violent Crime Rate, US, 1994–2013
97. Property Crime Rate, US, 1994–2013
98. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast and caused
99. In the first months of 2015, over 8 feet of snowfall in Boston caused
100. Share of Total Defense Procurement Spending, Global, 2014
101. Department of Defense Budget, US, 2014–2020
102. Projected Share of GDP, Global, 2025
103. Projected Expenditure Composition of GDP, US, 2025
104. Projected Government Expenditure as a Percentage of GDP, US, 2025
105. Projected 2025 Federal Government Spend
106. Estimated Federal Spend Breakdown, US, 2025
107. Average State Government Spend Breakdown, US, 2013
108. Projected Consumer Expenditure as a Percentage of GDP, US, 2025
109. Consumer Sentiment and Percentage Change in Consumer Expenditure Trends, US, 2005–Q1 2015
110. Projected Business Expenditure as a Percentage of GDP, US, 2025
111. Share of Labor Expenditure
112. Tax Revenue Expectations, US, 2015 and 2025
113. Confidence Index, OECD Countries, 2015
114. Rate Influencers, US, 2015
115. Stock Exchange Indicator Trends, US, 2005–2015
116. Private Expenditure Indicator Trends, US, 2006–2013
117. Projected Net Export Expenditure as a Percentage of GDP, US, 2025
118. 50 Billion Connected Devices, Global, 2020
119. Average Sensor Prices, Global, 2015–2020
120. Consumer Adoption of In-home IoT Devices, US, 2014
121. Companies Deploying IoT, Global, 2012 and 2014
122. Potential Economic Impact of IoT, Global, 2025
123. Development and Adoption of Emerging Technologies, US, 2025
124. High-speed Internet Access in Homes, US, 2013
125. Personal Information Sensitivity, US, 2014
126. Consumer Adoption Rates of Smart Technology, US, 2016 and 2020

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