Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Couple of Quick Notes of Demographic Interest

Two quick things of note based on recently released Census data:

Out of California, more evidence of the surge in the Latino population.  Now, more than half of the children in Califronia are Latinos.  Among all age groups, Latinos are now virtually on par with whites.  They represent 38% and 40% of the population respectively.

The political implications of this are obvious.  As the story notes, California was one state that withstood the gains made by Republicans across all other parts of the country.  While redistricting plays a part of this as well--California has perhaps the most gerrymandered congressional districts in the country--the importance of the Latino vote to Democrats will only grow.  While Latino turnout still lags considerably behind that of other groups, the sheer surge in the population is good news for Democrats, not just in California, moving forward.

The second story worth mentioning deals with a topic I've written about here before--namely the Great Migration.  Census data from Chicago shows, interestingly, that the African American population in the city actually declined between 2000 and 2010.  What seems to be happening is a larger pattern of the "Great Migration in Reverse."  Discussed in this earlier study by Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, recent years have seen large numbers of African Americans migrate from northern industrial cities like Chicago to southern metropolises like Atlanta, Charlotte, and Houston.  The proportion of the African American population now living in the south is the highest it's been since 1960.

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