Census 2010 State Stories: Week 6

Week 6 in the Census 2010 redistricting data rollout included some of the nation’s most populous states — California, Ohio and Pennsylvania among them — and one of the deepest selections of stories and news apps yet.

Highlights:

Arizona: The state’s 46% increase in Hispanic residents in the last decade was a prime mover in its growth, The Arizona Republic reported. The New York Times’ story says that Arizona’s Hispanic growth was slower than expected, however, and some activists suspect an undercount.

California: Reporting from the Golden State was robust and comprehensive:

The Los Angeles Times explained that the state’s rising Hispanic population and strong growth in its interior counties would likely lead to a political power shift. The interactive maps accompanying the story take a smart, original angle — showing how each congressional and state legislative district differs in population from the targets that will be used to redraw them. Also from the LAT: a piece on the state’s housing boom and bust.

– Nonprofit The Bay Citizen focused (naturally) on the San Francisco/Oakland area and surrounding counties, with stories on fast growth of the Asian population in the South Bay, the region’s loss of children due to affordability, and its increased diversity. An interactive maps the region’s county and city population change.

The Orange County Register pointed out that “California’s population would have dropped over the past two decades were it not for a huge increase in Hispanics and Asians” and published its own interactive map showing the population shift inland.

– At USA TODAY, a story focused on problems associated with the state’s slower growth.

Connecticut: Spillover growth from New York has helped make Connecticut one of the nation’s densest states, USA TODAY wrote. And in the I-didn’t-know-that department, an AP story said the state will use the Census to determine whether and where to issue more liquor store permits.

Idaho: The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., updated its comprehensive interactive app with Idaho data and wrote that population shifts in the state will likely mean a loss of political power for the rural north-central part of the state. A USA TODAY story said that transplants from California were among those fueling the state’s growth.

Ohio: Several news outlets wrote about declining population in major cities. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer covered its city’s population drop below 400,000 — its lowest count in 100 years — and efforts to bring it back. A detailed static graphic showed Cleveland’s dramatic population increase and decline since the 1800s. The Cincinnati Enquirer similarly covered the city’s drop below 300,000. And The Columbus Dispatch noted that though the state capital grew 11%, its inner city lost people.

Pennsylvania: Both The Philadelphia Inquirer and USA TODAY wrote about Philly’s reversal (albeit slight) of a long-term population skid but noted Pittsburgh’s continued decline.

Wisconsin: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that blacks now outnumber whites in its city, which avoided the major population losses of other midwest locations. In the story, demographer Bill Frey — perhaps the most widely quoted Census watcher — said Wisconsin’s 74% increase in Hispanics is the “the magic bullet for slow-growing, largely white states.” The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that 20 of the state’s 72 counties lost population, particularly in the rural north.

Great quote:

“In both San Francisco and Los Angeles, the post-redistricting political landscape is going to look like a game of musical chairs — with switchblades. There’s simply no way that either the Southland or the Bay Area is going to be able to support as many seats, so some of those members are either going to move east or go home.”
– Dan Schnur, director of USC’s Unruh Institute of Politics, in the L.A. Times’ political shift story.

And that brings this week to a close, with 33 states released. Next week brings nine more, including Florida, Georgia and Minnesota. As always, if I missed anything please leave a comment.

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