This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Political Consequences of Migration Within the US

I recently commented on the truly amazing dataset put together by people at The Upshot Blog of the New York Times, in which they trace the pattern of migration into and out of states within the US over the past century. They have continued to mine their data for insights and in this Sunday's Times they look at the way in which the migration out of the "blue" states of the country's northeast into some of the "red" states in the interior may influence politics. 
The blue diaspora has helped offset the fact that many of the nation’s fastest-growing states are traditionally Republican. You can think of it as a kind of race: Population growth in these Republican states is reducing the share of the Electoral College held by traditionally Democratic states. But Democratic migration has been fast enough, so far, to allow the party to overcome the fact that the Northeast and industrial Midwest contain a smaller portion of the country’s population than they once did.
The changes in purple North Carolina (where the blue-born population is up an astounding 41 percent since 2000) and Georgia (30 percent) are fairly well-known. Perhaps not as well-known is the migration of blue-staters to South Carolina (39 percent), Utah (34 percent) and Idaho (30 percent). The Southeast and the interior West have become some of the most popular new destinations for American movers. They tend to be less expensive places to live than the Northeast and much of the West Coast. 
They note, of course, that not all people leaving blue states are Democrats and, even if so, they may not stay that way. Still, the numbers are intriguing.
If demographic changes don’t overturn the political reality this year, they still may in the future. Consider this: Since 1980, the population of New Yorkers living in New Jersey — a very common arrangement — has increased by the same amount as the New York-born population of South Carolina.
This is as a nice a piece of spatial demography as you're likely to find in the popular press.

1 comment:

  1. Salam!

    Great article (in German) on the relation of religion with fertility. It is an interview with Michael Blume, not sure if you know of him.

    Abu Daoud