Monday, August 23, 2010

The Census In A Table

Updated at 4:42 PDT

In researching the article on the floods in Pakistan, I happened upon the chart at the U.S. Census' website of changes to the population and the distribution of U.S. Representatives thanks to the recent census.

In a nutshell, the states that are losing representation are (with the number of U.S. Representatives they're losing in parentheses):

  • Illinois (1)
  • Iowa (1)
  • Louisiana (1)
  • Massachusetts (1)
  • Michigan (1)
  • New Jersey (1)
  • New York (1)
  • Ohio (2)
  • Pennsylvania (1)

Those gaining seats are (gains in parentheses):

  • Arizona (1)
  • Florida (1)
  • Georgia (1)
  • Nevada (1)
  • South Carolina (1)
  • Texas (3)
  • Utah (1)
  • Washington (1)

In short, our population is shifting from the Northeast and the Rust Belt to other parts of the country. The two most notable changes are Ohio's loss of two representatives, and Texas' gain of three.

It might seem that this represents a shift toward more conservatism in America, since most of the states that lost representatives are more progressive, and those that gained mostly aren't. Other than Texas, though, I think this can be viewed as further urbanization of America. Urban populations tend to be liberal, because they require more government than rural populations. At least, that's been the trend. Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida have shown tendencies in that direction. While I wouldn't count on Utah becoming a progressive nirvana anytime soon, the trend isn't entirely the bad news it might first appear.

[More observations are in the second update, below.]

Here's the entire table, which I lifted lock, stock, and HTML from the U.S. Census site:

 PopulationElectorsHouse Seats
Alabama4,708,708+247,5784,461,1309 97 7
Alaska698,473+69,540628,9333 31 1
Arkansas2,889,450+209,7172,679,7336 64 4
California36,961,664+3,030,86633,930,79855 5553 53
Colorado5,024,748+712,8664,311,8829 97 7
Connecticut3,518,288+108,7533,409,5357 75 5
Delaware885,122+100,054785,0683 31 1
District of Columbia   3 3   
Hawaii1,295,178+78,5361,216,6424 42 2
Idaho1,545,801+248,5271,297,2744 42 2
Indiana6,423,113+332,3316,090,78211 119 9
Kansas2,818,747+124,9232,693,8246 64 4
Kentucky4,314,113+264,6824,049,4318 86 6
Maine1,318,301+40,5701,277,7314 42 2
Maryland5,699,478+391,5925,307,88610 108 8
Minnesota5,266,214+340,5444,925,67010 108 8
Mississippi2,951,996+99,0692,852,9276 64 4
Missouri5,987,580+381,3205,606,26011 119 9
Montana974,989+69,673905,3163 31 1
Nebraska1,796,619+81,2501,715,3695 53 3
New Hampshire1,324,575+86,1601,238,4154 42 2
New Jersey8,707,739+283,3858,424,35414-11512-113
New Mexico2,009,671+185,8501,823,8215 53 3
New York19,541,453+536,48019,004,97330-13128-129
North Carolina9,380,884+1,313,2118,067,67315 1513 13
North Dakota646,844+3,088643,7563 31 1
Oklahoma3,687,050+228,2313,458,8197 75 5
Oregon3,825,657+397,1143,428,5437 75 5
Rhode Island1,053,209+3,5471,049,6624 42 2
South Carolina4,561,242+536,1814,025,0619+187+16
South Dakota812,383+55,509756,8743 31 1
Tennessee6,296,254+596,2175,700,03711 119 9
Vermont621,760+11,870609,8903 31 1
Virginia7,882,590+781,8887,100,70213 1311 11
West Virginia1,819,777+6,7001,813,0775 53 3
Wisconsin5,654,774+283,5645,371,21010 108 8
Wyoming544,270+48,966495,3043 31 1
Totals306,406,893+24,982,716281,424,177538 538435 435

Apologies for the fact that not all of the table's columns are appearing in this article. That's because this particular page format is limited to about 550 pixels across. That makes it all but impossible to get a wide table like this in it. If you set the font size of your browser to 12 pixels, you should be able to see what I'm talking about, and setting it to 10 pixels should show the whole thing.

Of course, you might not be able to read it.

UPDATE: For you Posix users, there's a utility called kmag that may help. Set the pixel size on your browser to 10, then you can use kmag to magnify the table.

UPDATE 2: Back to the subject matter ...

A couple of other interesting observations, just looking at the “Change” column:

- California gained over 3 million people, yet didn’t pick up another representative. Texas picked up 3.9 million, and picked up three.

- No states lost population this time. Going from memory, I think Wyoming and North Dakota lost population, according to the 2000 census relative to 1990.

- 306 million people divided by 435 reps averages out to 703,000 people per legislative district. California gained enough population for four congressional districts, yet gained none. New York gained 536k, nearly enough for one district, but lost a district.

- Every state gets at least one rep, whether it has 703,000 people or not. By my count, four states have fewer people than this (Alaska is just short at 698k).

The state’s population relative to the rest of the country is what counts, of course, and while California’s population increased quite a bit, it wasn’t enough to change its proportion of the country’s population.

UPDATE 3: Thanks to a tip from George.W in comments, I was able to create an Open Office spreadsheet of this table. I also exported it into Excel '97 format (XLS), but I can't vouch for the quality. I don't have Excel.

Anyone desiring a copy, I'll be happy to e-mail either version to you.


george.w said...

I copied the chart, pasted it into a cell a-1 of a spreadsheet (Open office, but Excel should work) and Zammo! full dataset.

It does look like urbanization. Sweet, tasty urbanization. With 82% of Americans in urban areas, why do cons say that "Real Americans" are all rural?

Cujo359 said...

I don't think there are more than a handful of "real Americans" in the whole country, frankly. If you eliminate from consideration those who are ethnic or religious minorities, gay or lesbian, or progressive (liberal, green, libertarian, whatever), then you're left with maybe a third of that 28 percent.

Reminds me of an old Babylon 5 show. It was about an automated weapon that was programmed to kill anyone who wasn't a "true" version of whatever this alien was. Needless to say, no one qualified, and by the time Our Heroes discover it, the only thing left is the weapon.

Cujo359 said...

And, yes, cutting had pasting the table right into that first cell worked for me, too. That included making the bold parts bold. It didn't format the cells to show commas, but that's pretty minor. I just set the "totals" cells to add up the columns, and instant spreadsheet.