Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Map of the Week-US Population Change

It's that time again when redistricting claims much of my time at work. I don't work directly with the overall US population figures, but I've been exposed to lots of ugly, poorly designed maps showing population change across the country. This map from Brookings Institute Demographer William H. Frey is one of the better ones though it's not clear if he's using the final 2010 Census figures or one of the estimates.

The resulting patterns are fairly predictable and consistent with previous decades. The ring around Minneapolis nicely exemplifies the exurban migration that may finally be starting to ebb a bit. The continuing growth of areas with the poorest access to fresh water is not really news but shows up clearly.

What is interesting is how many counties are losing population. The population loss in the Great Plains is old news but the huge number of counties in the less than 10% loss category is surprising. Unfortunately the pattern is lost a bit by the dull color choice for that category.

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