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:
- Nevada (32.3%)
- Arizona (28.6%)
- Utah (24.7%)
- Georgia (20.1%)
- Idaho (19.5%)
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):
We 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?)