Booming Southern Population Is Bad News For Dems

The US Census Bureau released its annual population estimates on December 19 which shows that population growth in the Southern United States is outstripping the rest of the country, which could have ramifications for Congress in the 2030 census, Politico reported.

Over the past year, the United States gained over 1.6 million people, bringing the US population to just below 335 million.

Population growth was fueled by US migration returning to pre-pandemic levels and a decline in the death rate, according to a press release accompanying the Census Bureau’s estimates.

However, the population growth was not evenly distributed nationwide. The US South, consisting of 16 states and the District of Columbia and stretching from Delaware to Texas, added more than 1.4 million people in the past year. About half of that population growth was due to “domestic migration” rather than new births or international immigration.

Since 2022, the population in the South has increased by 1.1 percent while population growth in the West and Midwest each increased by only 0.2 percent. The population in the US Northeast, on the other hand, declined slightly by 0.1 percent in the past year.

The Census Bureau data is not entirely surprising. The South and West have been the drivers of US population growth for years, largely at the expense of the Midwest and Northeast.

The six states that experienced the largest population growth this year are all in the South, with Texas leading the way with 473,000 people. Florida came in second with an estimated population increase of 365,000, followed by North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. In seventh place for population growth was Arizona.

Eight US states experienced a net decline in population in the last year, with New York losing the most (102,000 people) followed by California (75,000). Rounding out the other eight states with population losses are Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

While the next round of congressional apportionment is still a long way off, if this population trend continues, there could be a significant shift in congressional representation away from the Northeast and West Coast toward the South and West after the 2030 census.