Census Data Out: Blue States Lose, Red States Win

Jenny Erikson
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The first wave of Census 2010 data came out this week and the numbers are shocking: It turns out that people don’t like paying high taxes.

The population grew 9.7 percent overall, from 281,421,906 in 2000 to 308,745,538 in 2010. It’s reassuring that people still like to have babies, because without them the world would be just like in that movie Children of Men -- a sad, dark world with no hope. And it's important to note that some of that increased number comes from immigration, which also makes me happy because I still believe America is the greatest nation on the planet, and I’m glad other people do too!

Not every state grew proportionally in population to every other state. Some states grew a lot more than others. Specifically, the states with the lowest taxes grew the most. Seven of the nine states without an income tax grew faster than the national average. Texas alone saw a 21% growth in population over the last decade. The business-friendly environment means more financial security, which means more people move there and/or have more babies. 

This is all interesting information, but it’s also politically significant. There are 435 members of the House of Representative, divided up equally over the population. States with high populations get more Representatives. For example, Delaware has only one Congressman, while California has 53.

After each census, the population data is calculated, and we have a reapportionment of House seats. In order to keep the Representative to representee ratio even across the US, some states lose representatives while other states gain. Interestingly, lefty-liberal California didn’t gain any seats this year, for the first time since it gained statehood.

In fact, the net effect was to add six house seats from Red states, and subtract six house seats from Blue states. That likely means more electoral votes for whoever the GOP candidate ends up being in 2012. It also could translate to more Republicans in Congress, especially since most of the states redrawing district lines have Republican leadership.

I guess small-government conservatives aren’t some fringe group after all. They are the heart of America, and they move in droves to states where they can be free to work and raise their families instead of sacrificing their hard-earned income to pay for welfare vacations.

If the blue states want to compete for growth, they need to look at what attracts people and businesses: Low taxes and minimal governmental interference.

 

Image by TechAskew

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