by Locker Room contributor
While those of us in North Carolina ponder the meaning of 18.5 percent population growth in the past decade ? vaulting the Tar Heel State into the No. 10 slot in overall population among the 50 states ? Michael Barone is applying his number-crunching expertise to the national picture.
Here’s one of the most interesting points Barone makes in his latest Washington Examiner article:
[T]he great engine of growth in America is not the Northeast Megalopolis, which was growing faster than average in the mid-20th century, or California, which grew lustily in the succeeding half-century. It is Texas.
Its population grew 21 percent in the past decade, from nearly 21 million to more than 25 million. That was more rapid growth than in any states except for four much smaller ones (Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho).
Texas’ diversified economy, business-friendly regulations and low taxes have attracted not only immigrants but substantial inflow from the other 49 states. As a result, the 2010 reapportionment gives Texas four additional House seats. In contrast, California gets no new House seats, for the first time since it was admitted to the Union in 1850.
There’s a similar lesson in the fact that Florida gains two seats in the reapportionment and New York loses two.
This leads to a second point, which is that growth tends to be stronger where taxes are lower. Seven of the nine states that do not levy an income tax grew faster than the national average. The other two, South Dakota and New Hampshire, had the fastest growth in their regions, the Midwest and New England.
Altogether, 35 percent of the nation’s total population growth occurred in these nine non-taxing states, which accounted for just 19 percent of total population at the beginning of the decade.