2010 Census

How the new census numbers will affect state budgets

Marketplace Staff Dec 21, 2010


Steve Chiotakis: This morning the U.S. Census Bureau dropped off its 2010 findings at the White House. The form people filled out had fewer questions and came in almost $2 billion under budget. The overall population is the first big number to watch and that means dollars to specific areas.

Marketplace’s Eve Troeh reports.

Eve Troeh: Census population numbers are a strong economic indicator. Since 2000, the U.S. grew close to 10 percent. There are now about 309 million Americans. The census shows that the south and west grew the most, as has been the case for a while.

Robert Inman at the Wharton School of Business says, nationally, that makes sense.

Robert Inman: Having people from one state to another is going to improve economy performance, ’cause people will get a better match to their job opportunities.

But that means the northeast and Midwest lost some people. Only four states actually lost more people than they gained (Michigan the most). Robert Inman says, that’s a major economy hit.

Inman: As you lose people, you lose tax base. But there will typically remain fixed costs; you still have the roads to maintain, still have their sewer systems to maintain, still have a police force to maintain.

Government aid is determined by population, so fewer people also means fewer federal dollars for maintaining those systems.

I’m Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

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