FRANKFORT, KY (12/20/11) – The Federal Government spent $13 billion collecting census data for the 2010 Census. The census is mandated by the US Constitution. Many, particularly libertarians, have objected to the more intrusive questioning by the Census Bureau. The additional questions were intended to gather more extensive demographic and political data for the government to analyze.
Given the numbers of people who don’t want to be counted, it is no wonder that there is always debate about the accuracy of census data. Some just don’t want to fool with answering questions, some think the questions are too intrusive, illegal aliens do not want their presence known, and fugitives from the law are not inclined to fill out papers, and on and on. However, the data collection is finished and numbers are coming out.
The United States has grown to 308,745,538 people an increase of 9.7% since the last census in 2000. The state that gained the most people was Texas with an increase of 4,293,741. The state with the smallest increase was Michigan which lost 54,804 people. In terms of percentage, Nevada grew by 35.1% for top growth and Puerto Rico lost 2.2% of its population. Kentucky grew to 4,339,367 which was a 7.4% increase. Kentucky fell to 26th most populous state from 25th. South Carolina passed Kentucky. Kentucky could pass 25th Louisiana in the next 10 years; but, Oregon is nipping at our heels and could pass Kentucky in 15 to 20 years.
Factors such as: quality of life, transportation, employment opportunities, climate, tax rates and cost of living impact population growth or population shifts. Business culture also has a dramatic impact on job growth. States with more stringent regulations on business appear to be lagging behind states with pro-business agendas. Another factor is that some communities do not wish to grow. In this census, Hurricane Katrina may have contributed to some population shift.
One consequence of uneven population growth or population shifts is the representation a state has in the United States House of Representatives. Each state has two United States Senators; but, when population shifts occur, shifts in House seats also occur. The differences in growth are not sufficient for Kentucky to lose one of its 6 House seats. Kentucky lost the 7th seat in 1993 after the 1990 census.
The big winner in the consequences story is Texas. Texas is gaining four House Seats. Florida is gaining two and Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington each gain one.
Two big losers: New York and Ohio lose two seats each. Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania lost one seat each.
Next week we will look at some troubling data from Kentucky.
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