Population Change by CD and by County

With the Census Bureau having completed its gradual rollout of data from all the states last week, I’ve finally gotten around to assembling data from all the various congressional districts into one place. While the actual population gain or loss in each district isn’t as important a number, for SSP purposes, as the number of people each district will need to shed or gain as part of the redistricting process (which you can see in the various posts we did as each state’s data came out), the overall gain and loss is an important part in the overall picture of where people are moving to and from (and where they’re being born). Just the numbers of people moving in or out isn’t as helpful as knowing who exactly these people are, and we’ll delve a little more deeply into the changing racial compositions of the CDs in the next day or two… but for now, here are the overall population change numbers.

You’re probably noticing, “Wow, that’s a lot of Republican districts.” That’s certainly true, but these are also districts that (as we’ll see when we talk about changing racial composition), for the most part, aren’t becoming more Republican; people tend to bring their values with them rather than undergoing some magical David Brooksian conversion experience once they move in from the city, the inner-ring suburbs, or another country. Some of these districts are ones where much of the gains are Hispanic (like NV-03 or TX-10, or just about any California district on the list); in the case of GA-07, it’s becoming more African-American. That isn’t to say that these are all on the verge of becoming blue, of course; with much of these districts’ non-white populations under 18, it’ll be a gradual process. And redistricting is likely to de-diversify at least some of these districts, with some of the closer-in suburban portions of these districts (note that many of these districts are the ones right on the cusp of suburb and exurb) to be given to lower-population urban districts that need to expand outward, with the remaining parts of the districts staying red. (GA-07, again, is a case in point; the innermost parts of Gwinnett County, which are pretty diverse today, probably will need to get added on to underpopulated GA-05, leaving the rest of the district in very Republican-friendly condition.)

You may recall I did this same thing a year and a half ago when the 2008 estimates came out; there’s been very little change to the list since then, although with some swapping of places. Despite its position at the absolute epicenter of the housing bubble, NV-03 moved up from 4th to 1st place, past the two Arizona districts and TX-10. Districts that fell out of the top 25 in 2008 include GA-06, TX-03, CO-06, FL-25, IL-14, and FL-06, replaced by VA-10, FL-12, TX-28, TX-23, TX-04, and ID-01.

District Rep. 2000 2010 Change
NV-03 Heck (R) 665,345 1,043,855 378,510
AZ-02 Franks (R) 641,435 972,839 331,404
AZ-06 Flake (R) 641,360 971,733 330,373
TX-10 McCaul (R) 651,523 981,367 329,844
FL-05 Nugent (R) 639,719 929,533 289,814
CA-45 Bono Mack (R) 638,553 914,209 275,656
GA-07 Woodall (R) 630,511 903,191 272,680
TX-26 Burgess (R) 651,858 915,137 263,279
TX-22 Olson (R) 651,657 910,877 259,220
TX-31 Carter (R) 651,868 902,101 250,233
NC-09 Myrick (R) 619,705 852,377 232,672
VA-10 Wolf (R) 643,714 869,437 225,723
UT-03 Chaffetz (R) 744,545 966,232 221,687
FL-14 Mack (R) 639,298 858,956 219,658
AZ-07 Grijalva (D) 640,996 855,769 214,773
NC-04 Price (D) 619,432 826,878 207,446
CA-44 Calvert (R) 639,008 844,756 205,748
CA-25 McKeon (R) 638,768 844,320 205,552
TX-21 Smith (R) 651,930 856,954 205,024
FL-12 Ross (R) 640,096 842,199 202,103
TX-28 Cuellar (D) 651,259 851,824 200,565
TX-23 Canseco (R) 651,149 847,651 196,502
TX-04 Hall (R) 651,500 846,142 194,642
GA-09 Graves (R) 629,678 823,583 193,905
ID-01 Labrador (R) 648,922 841,930 193,008

And here are the biggest losers, looking every bit as heavily Democratic as the list of gainers is Republican. However, if you go through the list line by line, you’ll notice that very few of these districts are even remotely-considered as being on the chopping block. That’s partly because many of these are VRA seats, or otherwise set up by Republican legislatures as Democratic vote sinks (PA-14, for example). The most obvious exceptions up for elimination are PA-12, which almost everyone concedes is gone with the wind, OH-10, which is set to get mashed with OH-13, and possibly IL-17, ironically one of the few GOP-held seats on the list (although it might instead wind up getting turned into a significantly bluer district by the now-Dem-controlled Illinois legislature). Instead, as I mentioned earlier, many of these districts are going to wind up reaching out further into the suburbs… in many cases, expanding to follow the same constituents who just moved out of the city (for instance, all the Detroit residents who moved across 8 Mile into MI-12).

District Rep. 2000 2010 Change
LA-02 Richmond (D) 639,048 493,352 – 145,696
MI-13 Clarke (D) 662,844 519,570 – 143,274
MI-14 Conyers (D) 662,468 550,465 – 112,003
OH-11 Fudge (D) 630,668 540,432 – 90,236
IL-01 Rush (D) 654,203 587,596 – 66,607
PA-14 Doyle (D) 645,809 584,493 – 61,316
IL-04 Gutierrez (D) 653,654 601,156 – 52,498
IL-02 Jackson (D) 654,078 602,758 – 51,320
MS-02 Thompson (D) 710,996 668,263 – 42,733
NY-28 Slaughter (D) 654,464 611,838 – 42,626
MO-01 Clay (D) 621,497 587,069 – 34,428
PA-12 Critz (D) 646,419 612,384 – 34,035
AL-07 Sewell (D) 635,631 603,352 – 32,279
OH-01 Chabot (R) 630,545 598,699 – 31,846
OH-10 Kucinich (D) 631,003 599,205 – 31,798
OH-17 Ryan (D) 630,316 600,111 – 30,205
CA-31 Becerra (D) 639,248 611,336 – 27,912
MI-05 Kildee (D) 662,584 635,129 – 27,455
MI-12 Levin (D) 662,559 636,601 – 25,958
NY-27 Higgins (D) 654,200 629,271 – 24,929
IL-09 Schakowsky (D) 653,117 628,859 – 24,258
NY-11 Clarke (D) 654,134 632,408 – 21,726
TN-09 Cohen (D) 631,740 610,823 – 20,917
IL-17 Schilling (R) 653,531 634,792 – 18,739
PA-02 Fattah (D) 647,350 630,277 – 17,073

Much more over the flip…

Now, let’s switch over to counties. Counties are a unit of analysis that don’t get talked about at SSP as much as congressional districts, despite the fact that they’re more useful for talking about historical trends because their boundaries (almost) never change over the decades; the rationale, I suppose, is that much of the nation’s population lives in huge counties that contain multiple (or in the case of Los Angeles County, more than a dozen) CDs, so in many cases it’s not as granular a sort (and conversely, counties turn into too-granular a sort if you’re interested in, say, Kansas or west Texas).

Still, looking at which counties gained the most population in raw numbers, it provides an interesting counterpoint to the biggest-gaining CDs. While you’d get the impression of impending utter Republican dominance by looking at the party IDs of which CDs have excess population to shed, looking at the nation’s largest counties shows that, when you balance out the parts and pieces that make up the various CDs, many of the counties have very swingy results at the presidential level. I was also planning to look at changes in racial composition by county as well as by CD in the coming days, so it’ll also become quite evident (if you hadn’t already mentally extrapolated from which CDs are in which counties) that much of the growth coming in these fastest-growing counties is coming from non-whites.

County 08 Results 2000 2010 Change
Maricopa, AZ 44/54 3,072,149 3,817,117 744,968
Harris, TX 50/49 3,400,578 4,092,459 691,881
Riverside, CA 50/48 1,541,387 2,189,641 644,254
Clark, NV 58/39 1,375,765 1,951,269 575,504
Tarrant, TX 44/55 1,466,219 1,809,034 362,815
San Bernardino, CA 52/46 1,709,434 2,035,210 325,776
Bexar, TX 52/47 1,392,931 1,714,773 321,842
Los Angeles, CA 69/29 9,519,338 9,818,605 299,267
Collin, TX 37/62 491,675 782,341 290,666
San Diego, CA 54/44 2,813,833 3,095,313 281,480
Wake, NC 57/42 627,846 900,993 273,147
Orange, FL 59/40 896,344 1,145,956 249,612
Miami-Dade, FL 58/42 2,253,362 2,496,435 243,073
Fort Bend, TX 48/51 354,452 585,375 230,923
Hillsborough, FL 53/46 998,948 1,229,226 230,278
Denton, TX 37/62 432,976 662,614 229,638
Mecklenburg, NC 62/37 695,454 919,628 224,174
Gwinnett, GA 44/55 588,448 805,321 216,873
Travis, TX 64/34 812,280 1,024,266 211,986
Hidalgo, TX 69/30 569,463 774,769 205,306
Pinal, AZ 42/56 179,727 375,770 196,043
Sacramento, CA 58/39 1,223,499 1,418,788 195,289
King, WA 70/28 1,737,034 1,931,249 194,215
Palm Beach, FL 61/38 1,131,184 1,320,134 188,950
Kern, CA 40/58 661,645 839,631 177,986

The counties with the biggest numeric loss, on the other hand, are almost all Democratic ones with a few exceptions from the New Orleans suburbs. Some are Dem strongholds that are just intensifying (like Cook County, home of Chicago, whose blueness we kind of take for granted these days… Mike Dukakis won it only 56-43). Others are onetime solid Dem counties that have turned swingy as older ex-unionists die off and educated young voters book their tickets elsewhere (like the western Pennsylvania and West Virginia counties).

County 08 Results 2000 2010 Change
Wayne, MI 74/25 2,061,162 1,820,584 – 240,578
Cook, IL 76/23 5,376,741 5,194,675 – 182,066
Orleans, LA 79/19 484,674 343,829 – 140,845
Cuyahoga, OH 69/30 1,393,978 1,280,122 – 113,856
Allegheny, PA 57/42 1,281,666 1,223,348 – 58,318
Hamilton, OH 53/46 845,303 802,374 – 42,929
St. Bernard, LA 26/71 67,229 35,897 – 31,332
Erie, NY 58/40 950,265 919,040 – 31,225
Baltimore city, MD 87/12 651,154 620,961 – 30,193
St. Louis city, MO 84/16 348,189 319,294 – 28,895
Montgomery, OH 52/46 559,062 535,153 – 23,909
Jefferson, LA 36/62 455,466 432,552 – 22,914
Mahoning, OH 62/36 257,555 238,823 – 18,732
St. Louis, MO 60/40 1,016,315 998,954 – 17,361
Trumbull, OH 60/37 225,116 210,312 – 14,804
Lucas, OH 65/33 455,054 441,815 – 13,239
Fayette, PA 49/50 148,644 136,606 – 12,038
Washington, MS 67/32 62,977 51,137 – 11,840
Beaver, PA 48/50 181,412 170,539 – 10,873
Genesee, MI 65/33 436,141 425,790 – 10,351
Saginaw, MI 58/40 210,039 200,169 – 9,870
Essex, NJ 76/23 793,633 783,969 – 9,664
Hampton city, VA 69/30 146,437 137,436 – 9,001
Cambria, PA 49/48 152,598 143,679 – 8,919
Kanawha, WV 49/49 200,073 193,063 – 7,010

While looking at congressional districts by percentage of change isn’t that interesting (as they all start from a very similar baseline, giving you almost the same results as raw numeric change), it’s worth a deeper look with counties, because counties come in a wide variety of sizes and the fastest-gainers by population don’t dovetail much with the fastest-gainers by percentage. The percentage gainers tend to smaller counties that are poised at the very edge of metropolitan growth, making the transition from rural to exurban. Case in point: #1 Kendall County, which is where you wind up if you find already-exurban Kane County and then head south, to where Chicagoland meets the prairie. The bigger-name counties on this list, like Loudoun County, Virginia, Douglas County, Colorado, and Collin and Fort Bend Counties, Texas, are some of the archetypal exurbs of decades past, which are starting to diversify and make the stylistic transition from exurb to outer-ring suburb… and their voting patterns are starting to change too, with Loudoun turning light-blue and Douglas and Collin still pretty red but making sharp moves in 2008.

County 08 Results 2000 2010 Change
Kendall, IL 53/46 54,544 114,736 2.10
Pinal, AZ 42/56 179,727 375,770 2.09
Flagler, FL 50/49 49,832 95,696 1.92
Lincoln, SD 42/57 24,131 44,828 1.86
Loudoun, VA 54/45 169,599 312,311 1.84
Rockwall, TX 26/73 43,080 78,337 1.82
Forsyth, GA 20/78 98,407 175,511 1.78
Sumter, FL 36/63 53,345 93,420 1.75
Paulding, GA 30/69 81,678 142,324 1.74
Sublette, WY 21/76 5,920 10,247 1.73
Henry, GA 46/53 119,341 203,922 1.71
Teton, ID 49/49 5,999 10,170 1.70
Williamson, TX 43/55 249,967 422,679 1.69
Fort Bend, TX 48/51 354,452 585,375 1.65
Union, NC 36/63 123,677 201,292 1.63
Douglas, CO 41/58 175,766 285,465 1.62
Dallas, IA 46/52 40,750 66,135 1.62
Newton, GA 50/49 62,001 99,958 1.61
Hays, TX 48/50 97,589 157,107 1.61
Collin, TX 37/62 491,675 782,341 1.59
Franklin, WA 37/61 49,347 78,163 1.58
Delaware, OH 40/59 109,989 174,214 1.58
Forest, PA 42/55 4,946 7,716 1.56
Osceola, FL 59/40 172,493 268,685 1.56
Montgomery, TX 23/76 293,768 455,746 1.55

Finally, here are the biggest losing counties by percentage. Unfortunately, beyond the obvious Orleans Parish (and several other smaller Louisiana parishes obliterated by hurricanes), it’s a bunch of counties that you’ve probably never heard of, most of which are very tiny. Beyond that, it tells us that blindingly-red western Kansas and western North Dakota are losing population, as well as the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles… and also dark-blue, mostly-black rural counties in the Mississippi Delta, which was seen in MS-02’s population loss. The list continues on like that ad nauseam; the next county with a population over 100,000 is all the way down at #148: Wayne County, MI, which is 88% of its 2000 size. St. Louis city and Cuyahoga County, OH follow along at 92%.

County 08 Results 2000 2010 Change
St. Bernard, LA 26/71 67,229 35,897 0.53
Issaquena, MS 61/38 2,274 1,406 0.62
Cameron, LA 16/81 9,991 6,839 0.68
Orleans, LA 79/19 484,674 343,829 0.71
Sharkey, MS 68/31 6,580 4,916 0.75
Chattahoochee, GA 50/49 14,882 11,267 0.76
Sheridan, ND 29/69 1,710 1,321 0.77
Kiowa, KS 18/80 3,278 2,553 0.78
Towner, ND 52/45 2,876 2,246 0.78
Cimarron, OK 12/88 3,148 2,475 0.79
Cottle, TX 27/72 1,904 1,505 0.79
Jefferson, MS 87/12 9,740 7,726 0.79
Tensas, LA 54/45 6,618 5,252 0.79
Monroe, AR 47/51 10,254 8,149 0.79
King, TX 5/93 356 286 0.80
Culberson, TX 65/34 2,975 2,398 0.81
Esmeralda, NV 24/69 971 783 0.81
McDowell, WV 53/45 27,329 22,113 0.81
Jewell, KS 20/78 3,791 3,077 0.81
Claiborne, MS 86/14 11,831 9,604 0.81
Washington, MS 67/32 62,977 51,137 0.81
Lane, KS 19/79 2,155 1,750 0.81
Quitman, MS 67/32 10,117 8,223 0.81
Greeley, KS 20/79 1,534 1,247 0.81
Swift, MN 55/42 11,956 9,783 0.82

33 thoughts on “Population Change by CD and by County”

  1. I JUST posted something related to this on my new blog. In short, the cities are emptying out, and yes, we’re still segregated by race, but not as much as we used to be, and instead of having lots of areas that are 90% or more white, now that’s ticking down below 80% white. Since the partisan split within white voters is a lot less than between whites and racial minorities, when a city empties out and that population of people who’ve been voting 90% Dem is dispersed, rather than simply moving a few miles from the previous dividing line (as you implid about Detroit, but which is more complex than that), it gets a lot harder for the GOP to pack a disproportionate share of Dems together in +65% districts and then create a greater number of 55% Repub districts.

    Link to the post is here: http://rootedcosmopolitan.word

  2. the real pattern is Democrats moving from inner city districts to the suburbs, which doesn’t change the net balance as the inner city districts simply expand to get them back.  Representatives like McCaul in Texas who were worrying about all the Democrats moving in to their district get to just dump them back as their district moves its physical area further from the city core, and becomes more exurban in nature.  No net change.

  3. Particular counties in Western ND are losing population, but the most populous counties are actually gaining, largely because of the petroleum industry:


    And even in KS, the counties with the largest populations–Ellis, which is the regional hub and along the freeway, as well as the areas around Dodge City, Garden City and Liberal where there meat packers continue to bring in workers, mostly Mexican but even some Somalis–had modest growth. It was the counties that were already sparsely populated that are even more empty now. I drove through some of those places last summer and fall, and what used to be small towns are now literally deserted, with buildings falling to dust.

  4. that more people didn’t leave NV with unemployment as high as it was. Then again, when you’re underwater on your mortgage it’s hard to move.

  5. concerning population growth.  Overall, we are very weak, but the exurbs have been one of the hardest hit areas in the country with the housing market.  Guess growing by 40%-60% doesn’t make you hot shit anymore.

  6. It’s not still all white vs all black but with the lines shifting, it’s all black vs mostly white, still largely over 80% in most metro areas around the US, but there are few places in metro areas that are like where I grew up, where a mile away was a +95% black community but there wasn’t a single African-American in my school district. Now even the whitest places still have some African-Americans.  

  7. I don’t buy your conclusion about many of our cities.

    While your conclusion about places like Detroit makes sense, people are moving into cities all over the US.

    Isn’t Manhattan now majority white, for example?

    Nevetheless, there is more diversity in a number of our closer-in suburbs.

  8. I just looked at the Wiki information for all U.S. cities over 500,000.  This is pretty much what happened in the last decade:

    Very dense cities: New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia grew – only Chicago declined.

    Somewhat dense cities: Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Jose grew – Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Detroit shrunk.

    All major U.S. cities with population densities under 5,000 people per square mile grew.  However the following is true in all cases – either they’re in the South and West, and thus can still expand territorially, and/or they have undergone city-county mergers like Indianapolis, Louisville, Jacksonville, and Nashville, and thus have a lot of suburbs within the city.  

    As I see it, the urban fate of cities is pretty much threefold.  

    1.  In the Northeast corridor and the West, cities are stable.  Blacks and white, working-class people continue to drift into the suburbs, but enough white professionals, Asians, and Latinos are moving into the cities to more than make up the difference.  This means growth isn’t dynamic, and certainly less than the suburbs, but there are no systematic problems with the cities themselves.  

    2.  The Sun Belt cities are doing just fine, in part because they either contain suburban areas themselves or can annex new ones with ease.  

    3.  That leaves the rust belt.  This is not just the Midwest, but also contains areas like Baltimore, western Pennsylvania, and Upstate New York.  These cities are screwed in some ways, because they can neither expand their borders into more suburban areas, nor do they have an immigrant population large enough to counteract white and black flight.  

  9. The city of Minneapolis (and somewhat St. Paul) was able to stave off population loss over the decade with a former booming condo market in what was the Warehouse District but now is called the North Loop neighborhood on the edge of the business center of downtown.  On the flip, lots of minorities are moving out of the city in search of better public schools, which is something I saw first hand being one of the first families in 2000 to kick-off the exurban housing bonanza.  When I started in 8th grade, there was one black kid in my grade (and he was a Republican) but by the time I graduated, well, I was proud of the fact that there were so many minorities moving in that I couldn’t keep up with learning names anymore.

    I was working on an analysis of suburbs in the Twin Cities and unfortunately, I lost my wet dream worthy Excel with all my election results computed.  (Still have an older version with just the raw numbers that I’ll fix up again some day.)  What I had found was that many of these high-growth suburbs and exurbs that minorities are moving to actually voted more for George Bush between 2000 and 2004, with 2004 to 2008 mirror the statewide average mostly.

    At first, that should seem backwards, and I first posed this comment as a question hoping this would be a good topic starter for what the hell is going on.  Answer, these areas have always been Republican, but there were plenty of Farmer-Labor DFLers who have stayed loyal all these years.   Even with the influx of minority voters, the number of white people moving in as a raw number versus % overwhelmingly outdid them and thus, they are creating the new Republican suburbs.  I say “the new” as the GOP base in the upper class suburbs has been waning heavily, and actually, the two have probably reversed in voting habits.

    Redistricting wise, I don’t think much difference can be made.  The new GOP base are third and fourth ring suburbs which should make them easy to dilute, but our proximity to WI border makes them centered north and west of the cities.  At the same time, even though this makes our DFL base more centered, the DFL doesn’t control a single suburban seat and there is too much population for there not to be plenty of DFL suburbanites left-over after packing MN-4 and MN-5.  And with only 5 seats for the metro area, you can only do so much.

  10. …are mostly the more suburban cities like Charlotte or San Jose. NYC is a bit of an outlier because it’s arguably the biggest cultural and financial hub in the world, but Chicago lost over 200,000 people, and a lot of the mid-sized cities like Toledo, St Louis and Buffalo lost population.  

    Chicago’s an interesting case, btw: iirc, it gained about 25,000 Latinos, but lost about 50,000 whites and 175,000 black residents.  Some of those people moved out of the region, but many moved to the suburbs.  

  11. The average number of people per household tends to drop in a gentrifying area. So it depends on what/who the new gentrifying folks are displacing.

    If the buildings they are moving into either didn’t exist or were vacant or unpopulated (e.g. former industrial lofts), they do cause an increase in population.

    If the buildings were occupied by lower-income people, though, then there’s probably a population loss. The usual pattern is for families with children to move out of central cities in search of more land and/or better schools.

    In my census tract in Baltimore, families with children are being replaced by singles, childless couples (both straight and gay) or empty nesters. There’s very little new construction because it’s built up already. Sure enough, the census tract lost population. (Though not nearly as much as in other parts of Baltimore where people left and weren’t replaced.)

  12. Seattle and Portland are both filling in their urban areas, for example. San Fran too.

    I haven’t studied the overall picture, but the cities you’re naming that have lost population (and presumably are coring out) are all midwestern.

    Are you saying that gentrification in American cities is a sham? If it were, all of the developing transit systems would not be viable, and developers wouldn’t be targeting such areas.

  13. From NPR http://www.npr.org/2011/02/18/

    “There is another substantial share of the white population that is perfectly willing to live in diverse neighborhoods,” he says, “although the proviso seems to be, not in a white-black neighborhood – but in a neighborhood that has already been integrated with the arrival of Asians and Hispanics, and people get a comfort level about diversity.

    “And then when African-Americans join the mix, [it] seems to be easier to be accepted.”

    But overall, Logan says, “There is not much pioneering by whites into minority neighborhoods, at all.”

    “I want to challenge you on that,” Inskeep says, “because I think I live in a neighborhood that could be described this way. It’s happened over a period of decades; it’s in central Washington, D.C.; it was a historic black neighborhood – and white people have moved in in substantial numbers over time.”

    “It can happen,” Logan says, “and it might even happen that this is an area that can remain racially integrated over a long time.

    “However, I do research that looks at thousands of neighborhoods, across dozens of cities,” he says. “And between 1980 and 2000, I found out of say, a total of 5,000 census tracts in the country, only a handful – 20 or 30 – that were predominantly minority, and in which whites established a significant presence.”

  14. There was a lot of movement east this past decade into Riverside and San Bernardino but with gas prices and traffic making long commutes really stressful (I have a cousin who drives from Hemet to Santa Ana for work!), LA will be poised to benefit. If the 30/10 plans get implemented, the LA basin will have a decent light-rail system and that will spur a lot of denser housing and commerical zones. Downtown LA, where development froze during the financial crash, is starting to heat up again.  

  15. In many cities, the core areas grew rapidly but the poor and minority areas lost population.

    Here’s a map of population growth in the SF Bay Area, for example:

    Blue indicates population growth and yellow indicates population loss, with darker colors being faster growth/loss. Downtown SF and Oakland both grew rapidly, while many other areas grew slowly or lost population.

    Similar things happened in Baltimore:

    Or Philadelphia:

    In those cities and many others, the cores grew, but the lower income areas didn’t.

  16. And even Reno and Sparks are up north. And looking at the future, Henderson and North Las Vegas down here are looking at ways to revive their urban cores and grow more sustainably, especially since all our recent exurban sprawl is increasingly becoming a horrid eyesore. (Just look at all the vacant developments along The 215 in The Southwest.)

  17. It seems those tiny rural counties are just continuing the depopulation trend that began in the 1930s. For example, Slope County, ND has 4,940 people in 1920, and today has only 727 people. Most of the people didn’t simply pack up and leave though, they just moved to the nearest urban area where it is easier to find work (cities like Amarillo and Odessa in Texas continue to show growth while the rural counties around slowly die out).

  18. about two-thirds of the counties lost population. All the population growth in the state has been in dozen or so metro areas.

  19. The descendants of those old farmers are mostly in Fargo and Bismarck now. Most of that land is still in production (although much of it has been turned into hunting preserves) and more productive than ever, but it doesn’t take nearly as many people to work the land as it used to. Ergo the rural areas empty out and the cities keep growing.

  20. Where’d you get these maps? If you made them, would you mind posting two more? Austin and San Antonio. Pretty please!

  21. Folks are underwater, so it isn’t easy to walk away. And now that the economy is slowly starting to recover, there’s less of an urge for people here to just flee. In fact, there are even some people relocating here from elsewhere with the recent casino openings.

    Nonetheless, Nevada probably won’t see again the kind of extreme growth we saw in the previous two decades. Growth will probably be slower, and hopefully be more sustainable.

  22. I’ve only been here since 1999, but from what I hear things got really bad in the 1970’s/80’s and began to improve when Rendall was mayor and has continued.  Lots of pocket neighborhoods have had renewals and the city for the most part is very liveable.  

    Also, as the city became more cosmoploitan and people actually wanted to come to the city (i.e. nightlife, restaurants, etc) living in the burbs is less and less of an option.  The Schuykill Expressway to the western suburbs is a nightmare (its only 2 lanes and pinned between a river and pretty dense rocky terrain).  Back in the days of the good economy I would literally turn down jobs if they were in the western burbs, it just wasn’t worth the headache.

    Ironically, one other thing I think that will help Philly long-term is the decrease in the city wage tax (it has gone from 4.5% to I think around 4% in recent years).  This isn’t great in and of itself, but the statewide income tax rate went up (2.8% to 3.07%) so the city tax is a smaller and smaller portion of the total tax and if you know Philly, the city-wage tax is something people of all affiliations bitch about incessantly but nobody even pays attention to the state tax rate.

  23. cause population loss (long term), as gentrification does come with some rebuilding, esp multistory condo building near transit stations. It also comes with repopulation in industrial areas previously unoccupied (lofts, studios, etc).

    But I think there’s frequently a lag time between the start of gentrification and the buildup of condos, etc. So if there are few industrial areas, I can believe a temporary population loss.

  24. was #39 for population change by percentage, with about a 45% gain. Wright and Sherburne weren’t too far behind.

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