Brain Candy from the 2020 United States Census

  • Overall, the South and the West grew the fastest in the past decade
  • Illinois, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico had the sharpest decline. (West Virginia lost 3.2% of its population).
  • There were more people living in West Virginia in 1950 than there are today. West Virginia is also 1 of 2 states where deaths exceeded births over the last decade (the other is Maine, but immigration allowed the state’s population to see growth). And the state’s population (WV) is expected to keep shrinking through 2040. (
  • Puerto Rico lost 11.8% of its population since 2010 — a huge factor was Hurricane Maria in 2017.
  • Texas, Utah, Idaho, and North Dakota saw the most growth in terms of percentage. Utah grew 18.4% — the highest of any state (high birthrates, ya know what I’m screamin)
  • As of April 1st, 2020 — the United States population was 331,500,000 people (an increase of just 7.4% since 2010). From 2000 to 2010, it grew 9.7%.
  • States to lose 1 seat in the House of Representatives: California, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York
  • California added 2.3 million people from 2010 to 2020 (6.1% growth), but lost a seat in Congress because other states grew at a high rate
  • New York lost a seat by just 89 people (each district is something like 700k… each member of the House represents ~700k people). And Minnesota held on to one of their seats by just 26 people.
  • States to gain 1 seat in the House: Oregon, Montana, Colorado, Florida, and North Carolina
  • States to gain 2 seats: Texas
  • The overall slowdown in population growth isn’t a surprise. Since 2010, immigration has declined due to the fallout from the recession early in the decade… plus government restrictions under a former Administration.
  • “Without robust immigration, the United States would look more like Japan, Germany, and Italy, where births and the influx of newcomers have been unable to keep pace with the graying of the population, placing burdens on social services and the labor force.”
  • Over half of the U.S population growth between 1965 and 2015 was due to immigration — adding 72 million people alone. And without immigration over the next 50 years, the United States population growth will become stagnant.
  • “The extent to which the coronavirus has contributed to population patterns is not apparent in the new census data because much of the related displacement and the deaths of over half a million people took place after Census Day.” (Quote + cite this)
  • 5% of U.S. adults said they moved because of the pandemic (but is not clear if those moves will be permanent)
  • If the nation were to keep growing at the rate it did in the 20th century, when it quadrupled from about 70 million to about 280 million, “essentially, within a couple of centuries, we’ll run out of space,” he said. (331,500,000 x 4 = 1,326,000,000 by the end of the 21st century, for example). I don’t know how well the “we’ll run out of space” comment holds up because the entire world could live in New Zealand and still be less densely populated than New Jersey*.
  • Hispanic people made up half the gains in more than a dozen states.
  • White people accounted for more than half the growth in only five states plus DC. And the number of White people declined in 27 states across the board.
  • “Data on race and ethnicity won’t be released until later this year, but some states with high immigrant populations, such as Texas, Florida, and Arizona, came in with lower populations than projected. “So I think it is reasonable to ask whether there was some undercount of Latinos,” Frey said.”
  • Washington D.C. grew at a 14.6% clip — in 2010, it was just 5.2%

From Jeff: A lot of people thought Texas was going to gain 3 seats and Florida 2. Well Texas only gains 2 and Florida 1. Everyone thought New York would lose 2 seats and they only lost 1. Most people thought those island would lose 1 seat and they stayed the same. Arizona ppl thought would gain 1 and they stayed the same. People thought alabama would lose 1. California was on par to stay unchanged but loses 1. No surprise but relevant to us, North Carolina does gain 1.Many people are speculating there is a serious undercount of Latinos or undocumented immigrants and that is why AZ, TX, FL didn’t gain as many as thought and CA lost one



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Kyle Ackerman

Kyle Ackerman

Writing about anything I want | 4.99 ★ on Uber