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The recent evolution of population in U.S. regions


In most advanced economies, including the U.S., population grows at a modest pace. Since 2002, the U.S. population growth rate has been close to or slightly below 1 percent per year. But this national rate masks some important regional differences: The graph shows the evolution of U.S. population by region since 2002, where the population levels of all regions are normalized to 100. The populations in the Southwest and Rocky Mountains regions have grown at a much faster pace than the national average, while in other regions, such as the Great Lakes, total population has barely changed in the past 15 years. These differences are by and large the results of interstate and international migration and reflect, in part, differences in economic conditions and cost of living. Areas in the northeast and the Rust Belt (New England, Mideast, and Great Lakes regions) with high cost of living and a shrinking manufacturing sector aren’t the desirable places to live they once were and thus exhibit very low rates of population growth.

Bureau of Economic Analysis regions and their states:
New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Mideast: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Plains: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Rocky Mountains: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming.
Far West: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

How this graph was created: First search for “Resident Population.” To narrow down the search, use the tags (in the left sidebar): Under “Geography Types,” select “U.S. Department of Commerce: Bureau of Economic Analysis Region.” Select all regions and then click “Add to Graph.” Once the series are graphed, click the orange “Edit Graph” button and select “Edit Line 1” under the “Edit Lines” drop down. Select “Index” as the units and chose the date 2002-01-01. You can then click on “Copy to All” to repeat the same procedure for all series in the graph.

Suggested by Maximiliano Dvorkin.

View on FRED, series used in this post: BEAFWPOP, BEAGLPOP, BEAMEPOP, BEANEPOP, BEAPLPOP, BEARMPOP, BEASEPOP, BEASWPOP


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