“Two mostly external factors are largely responsible for pressing California’s (and New York’s) population numbers down: the Trump administration’s severe cutbacks on legal immigration (many of which only really got started in 2020 and will stretch on into the future) and the pandemic-triggered spike in telecommuting away from office clusters. Yet local policy choices exacerbate both phenomena. Housing unaffordability is a repellant.
That is one reason Texas is alone in gaining two congressional seats after this census. The Lone Star State and Florida, both of which receive a disproportionate amount of policy scorn from coastal elites, have gone from having essentially the same combined population as California in 1990 (29.9 million vs. 29.8 million) to opening up a commanding lead of 50.7 million to 39.5 million. At 2020 rates, Texas will catch California in population by 2035 or so.”
“There are two main ways that the US could increase overall population growth: by encouraging people to have more children or by increasing immigration levels.
On their own, pro-natalist policies have historically failed to increase birthrates in the kinds of numbers that would be required to stave off stagnant population growth. Internationally, research has shown that child allowances have led to slight, short-lived bumps in birthrates. From 2007 to 2010, Spain had a child allowance that led to a temporary 3 percent increase in birthrates, but that was mostly because more people decided to have children earlier, rather than have more of them. After the allowance was revoked, the birthrate decreased 6 percent.”
“Immigration is a much more reliable driver of population growth. The average age of newly arriving immigrants is 31, which is more than seven years younger than the median American, meaning that they could help replace an aging workforce. They are also more entrepreneurial, which encourages economic dynamism, and more likely to work in essential industries, such as health care, transportation, construction, agriculture, and food processing.
Immigrants may also help stave off regional population declines. Immigrants are more likely to settle in areas where foreign-born populations already live, which are typically large metro areas that have lost population in recent years. Frey found in a 2019 report that, of the 91 large metro areas that gained population since the beginning of the decade, 15 would have actually lost population were it not for immigration, including New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia. In another 11 large metro areas, immigration accounted for more than half of their population growth.
Refugees are also more likely to settle in less dense population centers where housing costs are lower, possibly reinvigorating the nearly 35 percent of rural counties in the US that have experienced significant population loss in recent decades.
Raising immigration levels wouldn’t necessarily require a major reimagining of the US immigration system, though that might offer more flexibility to reevaluate immigration levels periodically — it could be accomplished by just increasing the caps on existing forms of visas and green cards.”
“Over the course of the last decade, Illinois lost more than a quarter-million people, dropping to a total population of about 12.5 million. The state lost 79,000 residents this year, an increase over previous years. The Wall Street Journal predicts that as a result of this loss, the state will lose at least one congressional seat during the next reapportionment.
Illinois isn’t alone. California, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Michigan may also lose congressional representation due to population migrations over the past decade. New York and Alabama are on the bubble of each losing a representative. But none, not even California, has seen Illinois’ population loss.
Reason has been making note of this trend for years, while also observing (particularly in Chicago) that state and local government have poorly managed their public employee pension obligations, creating massive government debts that consume budgets and lead to service cuts. Government leaders have responded not with better fiscal management (the state’s powerful unions blocked pension reforms), but with more taxes and fees, even as residents leave. As C.J. Ciaramella has reported, Chicago’s corrupt policing system of fines, asset forfeitures, and vehicle impounds serves to extract whatever money the city can get from its poorest citizens to pay for itself.”
” Major reasons Illinoisans are choosing to leave the state are for better housing and employment opportunities, both of which have been hindered by poor public policy in Illinois. Nearly half of Illinoisans have thought about moving away, and they said taxes were their No. 1 reason.”
“”In the United States, fewer births and more deaths reduced population growth to a 100-year low,” reports a new study by demographers at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). They add that “in nearly 46 percent of counties, more people died than were born last year.”
As I reported last year, the U.S. total fertility rate fell in 2018 to 1.73 births per woman, the lowest rate ever recorded. In general, the U.S. total fertility rate was been below replacement fertility—the level at which a given generation can exactly replace itself, usually defined as 2.1 births per woman—since 1971.”
“Interestingly, the low—that is to say, negative—population growth in 1919 was largely the result of the decimation caused by the Spanish flu pandemic. Between July 1918 and July 1919, U.S. population actually dropped by 60,000 people.”
“Limiting immigration over the next four decades would do little to stop the racial diversification of the United States — but it could push the country into a population decline, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
For the first time in a decade, the federal agency gamed out how varying degrees of immigration could impact the U.S. population in terms of growth, age and racial diversity and its labor force.
Its conclusions, experts said, underscore the important role immigrants play in keeping the U.S. population trending upward.
“We desperately need immigration to keep our country growing and prosperous,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who analyzed the Census numbers this week. “The reason we have a good growth rate in comparison to other developed countries in the world is because we’ve had robust immigration for the last 30 to 40 years.””
“The population of American seniors — aged 65 and older — is expected to surpass the population of children under the age of 18 in every scenario, though higher immigration patterns would delay the inevitable”
“Even as the labor market has gotten steadily healthier in recent years, the American birth rate continues to fall from its recession-era highs.
Women tell pollsters that’s not because the number of kids they’d ideally like to have has fallen. Instead, the No. 1 most-cited reason is the high cost of child care. Child care doesn’t get more affordable just because the unemployment rate is low. If anything, it’s the opposite — child care is extremely labor-intensive, and the prospects for introducing labor-saving technology into the mix look bad. To make child care broadly affordable would require government action; it’s just not going to happen in a free market, which doesn’t magically allocate extra income to people who have young kids.”
“America’s sky-high child poverty rate compared with peer countries is entirely attributable to our failure to enact a child allowance policy. A better labor market helps marginally, but it doesn’t address the fundamental issue that a new baby increases financial needs while also making it harder to work long hours.”