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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Census Releases South Dakota 2009 Population Estimates

As a Year of Unity note, Pierre tells us just how many of us there are who need to get along. This gets me looking at the new Census population estimates for 2009 released Thursday. Ah, spreadsheets for lunch....

Here are some noteworthy numbers from the new Census data:

South Dakota's population appears to have grown 7.6% since 2000. That ranks us 22nd for growth, but we're still below the national growth rate of 9.1%. Fastest growing states:
  1. Nevada (32.3%)
  2. Arizona (28.6%)
  3. Utah (24.7%)
  4. Georgia (20.1%)
  5. Idaho (19.5%)
Among our neighbors, Wyoming (10.2%) and Montana (8.1%) are growing faster, but we outpace everyone else. North Dakota's 0.7% growth rate ranks it 47th in the Union, ahead of only West Virginia, Rhode Island, Louisiana, and Michigan (all growing, but really slowly).

Interestingly, South Dakota saw a 6.9% increase in its female population and an 8.4% increase in its male population. We still have more females than males, as is generally expected, but the gap is only 543, the smallest positive female surplus by percentage in the U.S. Ten states, all western, do have more males than females. Go East, young man....

Our growth rate may be picking up. Check out our population distribution by age (click to embiggen):

SD Population by Age 2009We troughed at the beginning of the decade (what? the Clinton era didn't inspire more nookie?), but recently we've been bringing up more babies (and we all love babies), perhaps catching up with our numbers in the twenty-something baby boomlet.

You can see the expected baby boom bubble, with the sharp jump of 1800, almost 24%, between our age 63 and age 62 groups. Our baby boom is actually one of the smallest in the nation. Nationally, the gap between the age 63 and 62 cohorts is 34.5%. In some states (Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Alaska are tops), there are over 40% more 62 year olds than 63 year olds.

That bubble is hitting retirement age... which means boomers won't be making income, won't be spending as much, and won't be as well-positioned to help us bounce out of recession. Our labor force shrank in 2009, the first time in six decades. Boomers retiring continue that trend... which is great if you're under 40 and looking for work, but not great if you're counting on consumer spending to haul your GDP out of negative territory. Time to raise the retirement age? (Hmm... so do Madison and South Dakota really want to market themselves as good places to retire, if those retirees aren't going to spend as much and boost our sales tax revenues?)


  1. This is such a fascinating story:

    Of course, I should say something really awful about the state South Dakota is in.

    Great post, Cory.

  2. Larry:

    Interesting, indeed! I must wonder, however, whether the liberalism vs. the conservatism dichotomy is actually the cause of the difference in divorce rates and teen childbirth.

    Left-vs.right does not fall along a simple linear continuum, does it?

    I can dream up some good reasons (to me, anyhow) why social liberals would have lower teen pregnancy rates and lower divorce rates. I find it tempting to suppose that social liberals would be better educated about birth control, and would tend to wait longer before getting married.

    However, it seems to me that fiscal conservatism would offer the same advantages in these two departments as social liberalism. Financial stress comes less often to those who manage their money more responsibly. Financial stress can break marriages as often as sexual incompatibility, if not more often. The cost of raising a child must loom in the minds of anyone involved in any sort of relationship where a child might result from the interaction ...

    Although I hail from the fiscally conservative camp, I consider myself a social liberal, and in any case, would rather mold my theories to whatever truth I can dig up, as opposed to attempting to mold the truth to fit my theories.

    South Dakota is fiscally and socially conservative, no doubt about that in my mind.

    Massachusetts and California are fiscally and socially liberal, I suspect.

    But what about New Hampshire? Florida? Nevada? Montana? North Dakota? Minnesota? Wisconsin?

    I do not mean to accuse you of anything, Larry! But I do mean to request input from others on these matters. I think this business is a lot more complex than a mere liberal-vs.-conservative issue.

    And then too, we must wonder where the statistics come from. We live in an age where people, even of good reputation, even highly educated, liberal or conservative alike, will not only spin things to suit their fancies, but alter documents or even lie through their teeth to make a point.

  3. Ms. JUNE CARBONE (Law Professor, University Missouri, Kansas City; Co-author, "Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture")

    Fiscal conservatives tend to be better educated than social conservatives.


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