We Are 300 Million Strong, America! 2010 Census Data Unveiled Today

Today was “an important day for the American people,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as he announced that he had delivered the 2010 Census results to the President under a congressional mandate – something that has happened “only 22 times before” in our nation’s history. Here are snippets of Secretary Locke’s remarks:

– achieved a 74% response rate, which matched 2000

– revamped public outreach efforts with better targeted marketing to “hard to count communities”

– 17.7 million households had lagging response rates in past; a figured reduced to 1.6 million this year

Why is Census so important?

– helps in deciding where we as a nation allocate resources

– assists with identifying places that need jobs

– serves as the backbone of serving citizens

The stats!

– In 1910, there were 92 million Americans.

– By 1970, that number doubled.

– In 2000, we stood at 281,421,906 strong.

– Today….drum roll…we are 308,745,538!

Implications for apportionment in US House of Representatives:

– Shift of 12 seats affecting 18 different states

– Gaining seats: AZ, FL, GA, NV, SC, TX, UT, WA

– Losing seats: IL, IA, LA, MA, MI, MO, NJ, NY, OH, PA

– 7 states will have only 1 representative

– Average size of congressional district = ~700,000 (in 1790, that number was 34,000!)

The rest of the story:

– Growth rates declining significantly

– Center of population In 1790 was in Maryland…2000 was in southern MO…not known yet today

– Regional shift in population: Northeast has become the smallest region, South is largest

– First time ever: West more populous than Midwest.

– Fastest state population growth from 2000-2010: NV, AZ, UT, ID, TX

– Slowest population growth from 2000-2010: MI, RI, LA, OH, NY

– Highest population density states were all part of the original 13!

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Candace Riddle

I’m baffled by the net migration to the South and West (two of the hardest hit regions by the economic downturn). Pew Center on the States has a really neat interactive program that allows you to compare states, net loss and net gain, in population, as they relate to other stats (i.e. net loss of college degree holders). Check it out here.

Andrew Krzmarzick

Hey Candace – thanks for sharing that link. Hands down, best presentation I saw in 2010 was by a demographer out of UNC-Chapel Hill. He talked about early trends we were seeing from the data, and one of his segments was titled, “The South Rises Again.” Of course, he also had this juicy title: “The End of Men.” Fascinating shifts in America over the next 20-30 years…unlike any we’ve seen before.

Megan Price

Always interesting to see the information gathered. Considering the amount that has changed technically/digitally/mobile-ly in the last ten years, it will be cool to see what is done with this information moving forward that hasn’t been done in the past.

Bryan Martin Firvida

Some great context of DC’s growth courtesy of the Washington City Paper:

The 2010 Census was the first to find the District’s population growing since 1950—when the city grew by 21 percent, reaching a population of 802,178 as the federal government boomed during World War II.


Obviously, the big news for just about every other jurisdiction in the country today was how the Census affects representation in the House. The District doesn’t have to worry about such things. But for the record: With 601,723 people, D.C. has 33,423 more people than Wyoming, which gets one House member and two senators.

Stephen Buckley


I just you want to clear up one (mis)statement that you made (which, BTW, is a common misconception):

– In 1910, there were 92 million Americans.

– By 1970, that number doubled.

– In 2000, we stood at 281,421,906 strong.

– Today….drum roll…we are 308,745,538!

False. This is not the total number of Americans. The Census is only supposed to come up with the number of people living in the U.S. Some of those people (at least 10 million, by most estimates) are not Americans.

So, doing the math, there are still less than 300 million Americans (at least, as of earlier this year).

And also: Did anyone see that point raised in any of the MSM stories on this topic. (I didn’t.) I guess that’s a good example of when reporters “write” their stories by simply rewording the federal agencies’ press-releases.