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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

US Population Shifting from Blue to Red States

US Population Shifting from Blue to Red states
The 2010 U.S. Census Bureau reported their official numbers, and the subsequent impact on population shifts from the slow growing northeast and Midwest to the faster growing South and Western United States.   According to 
Overall, this represents a continued shift in the Electoral College from blue-leaning states to red-leaning states.  The U.S. Census Bureau today announced its long-awaited final population and reapportionment numbers. The official population of the U.S. as of April 1, 2010 was 308,745,538, up from 281,421,906 in 2000. The Northeast grew 3.2 percent, the Midwest grew 3.9 percent, the South grew 14.3 percent and the West grew by 13.8 percent. Overall, it was the slowest growth in the country since the 1930s.
The apportionment winners were: Texas (4 seats), Florida (2 seats), Arizona (1 seat), Georgia (1 seat), Nevada (1 seat), South Carolina (1 seat), Utah (1 seat), Washington (1 seat). The losers were: New York (2 seats), Ohio (2 seats), Illinois (1 seat), Iowa (1 seat), Louisiana (1 seat), Massachusetts (1 seat), Michigan (1 seat), Missouri (1 seat), New Jersey (1 seat), Pennsylvania (1 seat).  The rest of the states are holding their own, including Colorado, New Mexico and Oregon.    For the first time since 1920, California did not gain a Congressional seat.

The last time California did not gain seats was in 1920, when rural congressmen refused to reapportion seats, and the power that went with them, to urban states.  The new numbers reflect a generational shift of population and political power from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West. In the Congress that’s seated in January 2013 the largest House delegations will be from California, Texas (36 members), New York and Florida (27 each). To put those numbers in perspective, since 1970 when the Sunbelt began to grow, Texas and Florida have each gained 12 seats while California has gained 10. The biggest losers over that 40-year span have been New York, which has now lost 12 seats, Ohio and Pennsylvania (seven seats each) and Illinois (six seats). 

Political pundits and campaign strategists can see the impact of the this 2010 population shift, as the big northeast states of New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois have lost a combined 32 Congressional seats since 1970, while Texas, Florida and California have gained 34 seats.     The Rustbelt is declining and the Sunbelt continues to grow.   And blue states (Democrats) are flat to declining while the red states (Republican) are growing.   The new Census will impact the 2012 Presidential election by favoring the growing red states at the expense of the flat or declining (in population, votes and political power) blue states.

© 2010, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,

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