The census offers a diary of the year of the plague | News, Sports, Jobs


As a Christmas giveaway to statistics buffs, the Census Bureau released its population estimates for the nation and 50 states as of July 1, 2021. The Bureau readily admits that due to COVID, its numbers are being submitted. to more uncertainty. than usual. But overall, they provide important clues to how Americans have coped with the pandemic and how it may have changed the trajectory of national growth and contraction.

A comparison of these estimates with the April 1, 2020 census covers almost exactly 15 of the first 16 months of the COVID pandemic. The headline is that 2020-2021 was the slowest growing year in U.S. history, with the population growing only 0.1%. This is even lower than the 0.5% growth in 1918-19, when the flu epidemic killed more people than COVID in the United States with less than a third of our current population.

Any predictions that lockdowns would produce a surge in births were obviously ridiculously wrong. Instead, we had the biggest shortage of births in the nation’s history.

This and the “Great resignation” the withdrawal of a few million people from the labor market, look like demoralization results. They are in any case the opposite of the baby boom and the influx of labor that began during World War II and flourished for two decades after the war.

Census estimates confirm reports of people fleeing crowded central cities around the time of the April 1 census. This is evident in states with the country’s four largest metropolitan areas: New York’s population declined by 365,000 (-1.8%), California’s by 300,000 (-0.8%), and California’s population declined by 365,000 (-1.8%). Illinois at 141,000 (-1.1%). (I have rounded the population counts to avoid the distraction of statistically insignificant numbers.)

The District of Columbia (-2.8%). Washington has been the fastest growing eastern metropolitan area in decades, but clearly more. Maryland’s population declined in 2020-2021 (-0.2%) and that of Virginia barely increased (+ 0.1%). The Biden administration has failed to duplicate the New Deal, either legislatively or in terms of the capital’s growth.

In total, 20 states lost population, from highly educated Massachusetts (-0.6%) to Climate Ideal Hawaii (-0.9%). Both were high lockdown places.

At the other end of that spectrum, the percentage growth was highest in the western Rockies: Idaho (+ 3.4%), Utah (+ 2.2%), Montana (+ 1.8%) , Arizona (+ 1.7%).

And in Texas (+ 1.3%), which is a big deal because it’s the second largest state, with a population of over 29 million. Its population increase in 2020-2021 was 382,000, representing 86% of the national increase.

Florida also saw a similar percentage increase (+ 1.1%), with a population increase of 243,000. Thus, the population of these two low-containment states increased by 625,000 in total, while the population of the 48 other states plus DC declined by 181,000.

You see similar contrasts when you compare states by political preference. The 25 states that voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election increased their populations by 1,049,000, while the 25 plus DC states that voted for Joe Biden saw their populations drop by 607,000.

If you put aside the eight marginal states, which no candidate won 5% or more, you find that the Trump strong states win 694,000 people, the marginal states win 544,000, and the Biden solid states lose 796,000. Or pit the nine states with no state income tax, which gained 782,000 people, while the other 41 states plus DC lost 340,000. The 10 states with the highest tax rates lost 704. 000 people.

No one knows if these trends will continue for a while, and no trend will continue indefinitely. But COVID and the responses to it appear to have caused quantifiable damage to sectors of society dominated by the cultural left. Public school enrollment is down, college and university enrollment is down, anti-Trump media sponsorship is down, restaurants are closing and concerts are canceled.

The flight from high-tax states to low-tax states was already underway before COVID, and sunbelt migration has been apparent for half a century. But what we seem to be seeing in this year of plague is the withdrawal of significant numbers of people from what had once been cozy left-wing cocoons, and their scattering in odd corners of the landscape.

In a political world that often resembles a battle between the Metropole and Heartland, the Metropole appears to be losing ground, while the Heartland is hanging on or even thriving.

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