Census Sunday

First…Frickin’ Friday proved, once again, that post titles matter. Friday had the fewest number of views and visitors for a day with a post in well over a year. I’m sure today’s title won’t exactly cause people to click in record numbers, either, but I’m at a point where I don’t really care that much, anymore.

Second…I don’t think the saying “no good deed goes unpunished” is precisely appropriate, but after a marvelous day yesterday, I woke up this morning barely able to walk as my right knee is quite painful and, basically, can’t be bent. On Saturday my wonderful wife and I attended two car events, she drove a Ferrari California and we enjoyed the best meal we’ve had since moving to Arizona.

The first event was at a venue that is basically a storage facility, but for cars. These exist all over the Phoenix area and, no wonder. As soon as they are announced and available for purchase, all units sell out in no more than a month. Here is a picture of one of these “auxiliary” garages:



I think you basically just buy the space and the rest is extra, but I suspect many of them have been upgraded like this one. The minimum size is 1,000 square feet and the minimum ceiling height is 19 feet.

It was enjoyable to see these spaces, the cars that are parked in them and other cars, but it was a bit dissatisfying as well as I would love to have such a space, but simply cannot justify the six-figure expense plus the annual fees. Oh, you want to see the Ferrari California my wife drove:



My wife loved driving the car, but claimed it really was not as capable a car as her 2018 Corvette. Car snobs would scoff at such a statement, but many of them wouldn’t be caught dead in an American car.


From the time I was very young I have been fascinated by the US Census. I must have been about 8 or 9 when a friend of one of my aunts gave me a copy of The Statistical Abstract of the United States. I think she worked for the Commerce Department.

After four or five years I had read the book so much the spine broke. Fast forward to today…if Americans pay any attention to the Census at all it was because of the news of House reapportionment. Texas will gain two seats in the House of Representatives beginning in 2022 and five other states will gain one seat. If seven seats were “gained” then seven seats must be “lost” somewhere else. The most notable “loser” is California, whose population actually declined from 2019 to 2020, and which lost one seat in the House.

Before I show an ad-hoc table of mine, here are some tidbits. Utah had the highest percentage growth in population from 2010 to 2020 at 18.4%. Second was Idaho at 17.3%. It is easier, in theory, for a state starting from a lower base to have a relatively high percentage gain in population. That makes Texas’ gain of 15.9% very impressive and, of course, helps to explain the two seat gain in the House. Overall US population gain was 7.4% from 2010 to 2020, the lowest mark since the 7.3% gain from 1930 to 1940.

Three states lost population: Illinois, Mississippi and West Virginia. Illinois and West Virginia are two of the seven states that lost a seat in the House of Representatives. The only state that can remotely be considered to be part of the Northeast that had a decent population gain was Delaware at 10.2%, but the official state population is still just shy of a million people.

OK, here is the ad-hoc chart showing five states, not at random, and their share of the US population in 2000, 2010 and 2020:


  2020 2010 2000
Arizona 2.2% 2.1% 1.8%
California 11.9% 12.1% 12.0%
Illinois 3.9% 4.2% 4.4%
New York 6.1% 6.3% 6.7%
Texas 8.8% 8.1% 7.4%


New York and Texas had somewhat similar populations in 2000, Texas had about 10 percent more people, but in 2020 that difference had grown to 44 percent. I’ll write it again: when they can, people vote with their feet. In 1990 (not shown here), New York actually had about 6 percent more people than Texas.

Like I wrote, I just find this stuff fascinating. I remember reading the article about the 1970 Census in the 1971 World Book Year Book dozens of times, about how it was the first Census ever where the suburbs had a greater population than central cities or rural areas. I don’t think that trend has reversed and doubt it ever will although I acknowledge my inability to predict the future with total accuracy.

OK, I’ll shut up about it now. I would, however, like to read your thoughts.







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