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Posts tagged as “census”

First take/another bubble

New population estimates, for mid-decade, are out from the Census, and there's some real indication here that Oregon could be headed for an additional congressional seat.

That would put Oregon in a select category, since only six states now are on track to gain seats (and electoral college votes). Texas would gain three and Florida two, and the single-seat gainers would be Arizona, Colorado, North California - and Oregon. From the looks of the chart, Oregon is the closest to the edge. A population slowdown in the rest of the decade could cause it to fall off, but this is the strongest position it's been in for a while.

(Nine states each are projected to lose one seat.)

Oregon was close to a pick-up at the start of this decade, but it didn't gain one, and Washington did. That seems to have used up Washington's pickup options for this time.

From a report on this in Daily Kos:

There are only minor changes from EDS's projections last year, when the firm predicted (albeit with less confidence) that California and Virginia would both gain seats. This time, interestingly, EDS says that whether you look at the longer-term from 2010 to 2015, or whether you use a shorter-term trend such as from 2013 to 2015 or just 2014 to 2015, all of their projections now come out the same way—something that wasn't true a year ago.

Incidentally, if these forecasts hold, the net effect on the Electoral College would be quite small: States that Barack Obama carried in 2012 would lose three electoral votes, while states he lost would gain three. However, two major swing states would see their fortunes continue to diverge, with Ohio losing yet another electoral vote and Florida gaining two.

In Oregon, which party would tend to gain from an additional seat? A question to ponder that just might get relevant. - rs

Them that got

A few quick observations on the just-released county and metro area census figures . . .

One is that, since the estimation period ended in July of last year, that happened before the economic crash really started to hit. What changes might happen when the next round comes out, the estimate closing in July of this year?

Another is that, for the most part, growth has continued in larger jurisdictions, and population declines seem centered in smaller and more remote areas. The estimate is that as of mid-2008, King County (the big kahuna in the region) added another 25,000 or so people, which is a little more than it added in the year before. Pierce County added about 12,000 (though Snohomish considerably less). Multnomah County grew about 15,000 and Washington County (Oregon) close to 10,000. Ada County added almost 8,000.

But: Some of the largest percentage growth in the region was in the somewhat smaller urban areas. The hottest metro in the Northwest, by far, was the Tri-Cities which went from 227,905 to 235,841. Next largest in percentage was the Idaho Falls area, which went from 119,133 to 122,995 (largely accounted for via suburban growth in Jefferson County just north of town). Is there a nuclear generator for population going on here?

Bend, Olympia and Coeur d'Alene had the next largest percentage growth.

All of that shouldn't totally obscure the places that have been showing clear population declines. Among those counties: Bear Lake, Caribou and Clearwater in Idaho and Gilliam, Grant, Harney and Sherman in Oregon. (None in Washington.)

Note also some counties we've been thinking of as resort growth counties, which turn out generally to have stabilized in population the last few years: Blaine, Teton and Valley in Idaho, Hood River and Lincoln in Oregon.