As we slide into another year of uncertainty, it’s time for counting American noses again.
The U.S. Census Bureau prognosticates there are exactly - yep, exactly - 328,239,523 of us. How they do that to the last number is - like a lot of other governmental hocus pocus - top secret. But, that’s their number and they’re sticking with it.
There’s also this. In 42 states, there were fewer births last year. And this. Deaths increased. So, with fewer births and a higher number of deaths, our national growth rate has slowed a bit. About 0.5% up between 2018 and 2019, a continuing slowdown for the past decade or so.
Same folks say the population in the Southern states is growing faster than anywhere else because of domestic migration and more births than deaths. About 40% of Americans live in the South.
Conversely, the Northeast is losing more people than anywhere else.
Between 2018-2019, 10 states lost population: New York, Illinois, West-by-God Virginia, Louisiana, Connecticut, Mississippi, Hawaii, New Jersey, Alaska and Vermont.
With all the bad news - mostly weather and earthquakes - coming out of Puerto Rico in the last year or so, more folks moved in than left. Seems a bit odd. Unless they counted relief workers.
More locally, Idaho ranks as the fastest growing state for 2019. About 2.1% last year. Lot of that growth came from in-migration. But, there was also an uptick in the number of births. One of only eight states to record such.
And here’s an oddity. While growing at a good clip, Idaho is one of the top five states for suicides.
Over the last decade, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Florida and Nevada added more people than anywhere else. Since 2010, each had about a 15% growth factor or about 1% annually.
Immigration numbers have also taken a dive. Been that way since 2017. Trump’s inauguration, remember? The influx of foreign citizens went from 1,047,000 in 2016 to 595,000 in 2019. It would be interesting to know what part his Muslim ban played in that decline. Also the rejection at our Southern border.
More numbers? Sure.
By 2030, all baby boomers will be older than 65. At that point, one in every five residents will be retirement age.
AND, for the first time in history, us old folks will outnumber those under the age of 18! Imagine the effects on society, business, politics, recreation, health care and a whole lot of other things.
In the 2030's, the Census Bureau folks predict a population growing at a much slower rate, one much older and more racially and ethnically diverse.
So, there you have it. We’re entering the decade of the 2020-2029 years with our population growth slowing, deaths outnumbering births, people moving South and a massive change in racial demographics. Exciting times.
Now, if we can clean up the domestic political criminal activity, heal some of the divisions separating us one-from-the-other, clean out a near-worthless Congress, get a handle on global warming, eliminate terrorism, renew broken international alliances, get big money out of politics and the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, maybe we’ll start growing again.
How about it?