Counting the US population

Around the world countries are counting their people in the national censuses. The world’s largest country China aims to chart its shifting population, so does the second largest nation India (who also just released their latest tiger census results), Germany takes a deeper look into its shrinking population for the first time since 1987, while the United Kingdom looks at its still growing population. These are just some of the example for the currently ongoing latest rounds of censuses around the world which will also lead to significant updates of global socioeconomic data which has been used for the realisation of the worldmapper project.
The USA is one of the first countries to have completed their latest 2010 census and recently started publishing the figures from last year’s population count. Among the first numbers released are the population counts, which draw the most up-to-date picture of the US population distribution and does also allow to analyse the changes since the last census took place in 2000. The following map uses these figures and shows the US population in cartogram form based on the state level figures. The main map shows each state resized according to the total number of people living there, and colours the states by their relative change (in percent) compared to the 2000 population. The upper left map inset shows the same map, colouring the states by their total population changes in that 10 year period. The bottom right map inset resizes the states according to the total population changes that took place between 2000 and 2010, and colours the relative change on top of that:

Population Map / Cartogram the USA
(click for larger map)

The maps show that apart from Michigan all states have increasing populations, with a strong emphasis of growth in the southern and western states. California, Texas and Florida strike out in total growth, but strong relative increases can be observed throughout the southern and western states. An interesting exception is the gap in the higher growth rates of the southern shore, which mainly is the state of Louisiana. Interesting it is because Hurricane Katrina accelerated an already declining population trend in the city of New Orleans. New Orleans diaspora is a term coined in relation to this significant event. It refers “to the population evacuated or forced to flee from New Orleans, Louisiana, by the effects of Hurricane Katrina” (see Wikipedia), and city’s population shrank from 445,000 in 2005 to 311,853 in 2008. Overall, of course, the population in Louisiana is still growing.
More information about the changing population patterns shown in these maps is outlined in a Census Bureau press release: U.S. Census Bureau Releases Data on Population Distribution and Change in the U.S. Based on Analysis of 2010 Census Results
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