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« Great Aphorists: Ludwig Von Mises | WILLisms.com | Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Forty-Six -- Social Security Is A Bad Deal. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 270 -- Where The People Are.

Demographic Destiny-

America, especially "Bush Country," is growing:

If we assume that the states continue to grow at the rate they have since 2000, then by 2010 America will have grown by 10 percent, having added 29 million people, and will have more than 311 million people. From 1990 to 2000, we grew at an even faster clip, by almost 33 million people, or 13.2 percent.

And the growth, as we know, has not distributed evenly:

Growth in the United States is regional. The Northeast and Midwest states are our Europe, creeping along, barely growing or even shrinking. Since the 2000 census, the District of Columbia and North Dakota have shrunk. Massachusetts and New York were estimated to have lost population last year and will join Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and others as states that will gain less than 4 percent population in a decade.

The top growth states are again Nevada, which has for the past 35 years been the fastest growing state, and Arizona, which is not far behind. Nevada projects to increase by 43 percent, or 800,000 people, and Arizona by 32 percent, or 1.7 million. Almost half the U.S. population growth will occur in four states: Florida will gain 3.7 million, or 23 percent; Texas 4 million, or 19 percent; California 4.4 million, or 13 percent; and Georgia 1.8 million, or 22 percent. Florida will be larger than New York, Arizona larger than Massachusetts and Georgia and North Carolina larger than New Jersey.

As a fan of sports, and a political junkie, I am constantly drawing parallels between the two.

In my mind.

But I rarely talk about them, for whatever reason.

So here's a theory I have been bouncing around for a while:

As America's demographics continue to change, regions/states/localities with the most robust economic and population growth will gain political power and influence at the expense of stagnating and/or shrinking regions/states/localities.

Duh. Everyone knows that.

But add this to the equation:

College sports teams within those diminishing regions/states/localities, even traditional powers, will lose status relative to teams within the growing regions/states/localities.

In other words, as states like Texas, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Georgia continue to gain population at the expense of states like Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, colleges within those states will gain and lose status, accordingly.

Then, factor in that certain states (usually the same ones gaining people due to domestic migration) have higher birth rates, even taking out Latino immigrants, than other states.

You get power, wealth, and prestige. You also get:

I. Lots of political representation.

II. Lots of suburban high schools. Lots of kids.

III. Lots of good college sports teams.

It will take decades to materialize, but it will materialize. Indeed, in some ways, it has already materialized. Florida's explosive growth over the past 50 years has allowed that state, with no collegiate sports tradition or history to speak of, to develop at least three major top-tier sports programs (Florida, Florida State, and Miami).

Don't think the same thing won't happen in Arizona. It will.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten conference, with all those rust belt states, will experience diminished relative resources, diminished talent, diminished everything. Ohio State and Michigan, two traditional college football powers, could become diminishingly relevant.

If political power is highly correlated with collegiate sports success, watch for trends in these states:

Projections are for Texas and Florida to gain three seats, Arizona two and California, Georgia, Nevada and Utah one. Balancing those gains will be losses of two seats each from New York and Ohio and one from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Louisiana.

Overall, the red or Republican states (won by Bush in 2004) will net a six-seat gain and blue states will lose six. But there is some question whether high-growth, high-immigration states such as Nevada, Arizona and Florida might turn more purple as they grow.

If you are afraid of growth, move to Europe, or to Ohio. But remember that most of your friends are moving to Phoenix, Dallas and Miami, and they’ll have more say in future congresses.

And more say in the hunt for the national title.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Costly Tax Code Compliance.

Posted by Will Franklin · 16 February 2006 09:25 AM


I think there was a quote from Mark Twain that said something about how he wanted to move to Cincinnati if the world ended, because it was always 20 years behind.

Posted by: business babe at February 16, 2006 09:32 AM

So America will grow by 10% b/t 2000 and 2010. Yet cuts in growth of federal programs don't constitute spending cuts why again?

Posted by: thomas at February 16, 2006 10:17 AM

Thomas... you're not so good with math are you?

Posted by: Hoodlumman at February 16, 2006 10:25 AM

Learn some math. Growing the federal budget 5-10% (or more) each year over ten years means that spending growth is far, far outpacing inflation and population gains.

Posted by: Will Franklin at February 16, 2006 10:25 AM

It doesn't mean any such thing. Have you maybe thought about inflation? Apparently not. retiring baby boomers? Nope.

Posted by: thomas at February 16, 2006 12:06 PM

OK, so even if spending growth increases at 5% per year, that is 2-3% above inflation. So if population grows 10% over 10 years, that is a compound growth rate of less than 1% per year as compared to modest spending growth of 2-3%. And that is at minimal spending growth rates.

Speaking of retiring baby boomers, what happens to our entitlement programs when they do retire? Since we are talking about it, does this population growth combined with the explosive growth of entitlement programs cost due to baby boomers constitute a crisis?

Posted by: Justin B at February 16, 2006 02:30 PM

BTW, this is exactly why Florida, Texas, California, Nevada, and Arizona have relatively few worries about a "housing bubble". However, this does not bode well for the Rust Belt, NY, MA, etc. These areas of the northeast have major housing price issues to deal with.

I live in AZ and with 35% growth in a decade, you have to expect that these folks will continue buying houses at sustained pace for the next few years. With Katrina driving up commodities prices, this translated into long term and short term rising home prices.

As to the premise that this will translate into better collegiate sports teams in the high growth areas, damn skippy. We are already seeing better instate recruits like Terrell Suggs, Zach Miller, and Keegan Herring produced locally playing for ASU. In-state recruiting is extremely powerful and important as demonstrated by the Florida schools, Texas schools, California schools, and Nebraska, Oklahoma, etc. First step is get the best athletes in your own state, then focus on recruiting other places.

Posted by: Justin B at February 16, 2006 02:41 PM

Wow Thomas!... If you have been reading WILLisms.com you would already know he thinks about inflation and the baby boomers Quite alot ... That is why WILLisms stresses Social Security Reform...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at February 16, 2006 03:10 PM

Bah on thomas.

Let's get back to UGA winning more National Titles.

We already know that the SEC title game is always higher-ranked on TV than many of the other divisional title games. Will simply made it all make sense.

Interesting analysis. I've never thought of it like that.

Posted by: Shamalama at February 16, 2006 04:48 PM

Indeed. GO DAWGS!!!!!

Posted by: Charles at February 17, 2006 01:30 PM