Demography Resources

Resource Category Topic Type
Data Snapshot: New Data Show U.S. Birth Rate Hits Record Low
New data from the National Center for Health Statistics show a record low birth rate in the United States. In 2016, I estimate there were 600,000 fewer births in the United States than would have been expected had pre-recessionary birth rates continued. And, there is no evidence in these new data that this birth dearth is diminishing.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography Publication
2020 Census Faces Challenges in Rural America
The 2020 Census will have ramifications for every person in the United States, urban and rural residents alike.1 Interest in the Census is growing2 and the Census Bureau’s plans are becoming more concrete,3 but little has been written about the special challenges that will make some rural areas and populations difficult to enumerate accurately.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Demography, Rural, Urban Publication
A Demographic and Economic Profile of Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin
In this brief, we present a demographic and economic profile of Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI, with a specific focus on families with children. The cities, situated at the western point of Lake Superior (see Figure 1), share a rich economic history as major ports for coal, iron ore, and grain. Each city is also home to numerous colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Demography, Economic Development, Poverty Publication
A Profile of Latinos in Rural America
Despite their traditional residence in U.S. urban areas, Latinos represent a large and growing segment of America's rural population. Using recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey (ACS), Saenz presents a profile of the Latino population in the nonmetropolitan United States.
Demography Demography, Hispanics, Rural Publication
A Profile of New Hampshire's Foreign-Born Population
At the turn of the 20th century, New Hampshire had over 88,000 foreign-born persons, over 15,000 more than it has today. In 1900, the state's concentration of foreign born (21 percent) was higher than the national average percentage and more than three times the current percentage of 6 percent in the state. In 1900, New Hampshire ranked 15th of all states in percentage of the foreign-born population. As of 2008, New Hampshire ranks 26th out of the 50 states.
Demography, New Hampshire Demography, Immigration, New Hampshire Publication
Age and Lifecycle Patterns Driving U.S. Migration Shifts
Migration—people moving between locations—is now driving much of the demographic change occurring in the United States. In this brief, authors Kenneth Johnson, Richelle Winkler, and Luke Rogers share new research on age-related migration patterns to provide a fuller understanding of the complex patterns of demographic change in the United States.
Demography Demography, Migration, Young Adults Publication
Behind at the Starting Line
Hispanics are driving U.S. population growth. Representing just 16 percent of the U.S. population in 2010, Hispanics accounted for the majority of U.S. population growth over the past decade. The current emphasis on immigration in public discourse and policy reflects the commonplace assumption that Hispanic population growth is driven largely by new immigration. Yet, most Hispanic growth today is due to Hispanic births, not immigration.1 Fertility represents a large second-order effect of past and current immigration. The often unappreciated impact of U.S.-born Hispanic infants on population growth raises an important policy question: Do Hispanic infants start life’s race behind the starting line, poor and disadvantaged? The question of whether Hispanic infants start life at an economic disadvantage has broad policy implications. Poverty at birth threatens childhood development trajectories, later academic achievement, transitions to productive adult roles, and, ultimately, incorporation into the economic, social, and political mainstream.2 Nor is this just a highly localized concern in a few traditional Hispanic settlement areas, because Hispanics are now widely distributed geographically. America’s Hispanic population has dispersed from established gateways in the Southwest and a few large urban cores to new destinations throughout the Southeast, the Pacific Northwest, and the agricultural heartland.3 Most Hispanics continue to reside in metropolitan areas, where they accounted for nearly 55 percent of recent population gains. Yet, Hispanic growth has had even greater impacts in rural America. A burgeoning Hispanic population accounted for two-thirds of the rural population gain, though Hispanics represented less than 7 percent of the population in 2010. In many rural areas, Hispanics provide a demographic lifeline to dying small towns. Births account for a growing share of the Hispanic population increase: nearly 25 percent of all U.S. births are now to Hispanics. Our focus here is on the question of how many Hispanic infants begin their lives in poverty. In our previous research, we demonstrated that the growing proportion of U.S. births that are Hispanic is causing America to become more diverse from youngest to oldest.4 Diversity as well as economic incorporation are occurring from the “bottom up”—beginning with infants and children. Here we examine the comparative economic circumstances of Hispanics but, unlike previous studies, we place the emphasis squarely on infants. The period in utero and during early infancy is especially critical for brain development and later cognitive, emotional, and physical outcomes. Poor infants also face clear developmental disadvantages that persist into adulthood.5 In the absence of upward socioeconomic mobility, childhood poverty contributes to poverty in adulthood, a statistical fact that will take on special significance if intergenerational mobility declines and inequality grows.6
Vulnerable Families Research Program Birth Rates, Children, Demography, Hispanics Publication
Beyond Urban Versus Rural
In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, commentators focused on the political polarization separating residents of urban and rural America. Certainly rural–urban differences are only one of several factors that contributed to the surprising 2016 outcome, but rural voters are rightly acknowledged as one key factor in Donald Trump’s electoral success. Yet, defining 2016 as the tale of two Americas—one urban, one rural—hinders a nuanced understanding of the country’s political geography. Many political commentators mistakenly caricature rural America as a single entity, but our research summarized here shows that complex variations in voting patterns persist among both urban and rural places.1 Rural America is a remarkably diverse collection of places including more than 70 percent of the land area of the United States and 46 million people.2 Both demographic and voting trends in this vast area are far from monolithic. Here we examine voting patterns over the last five presidential elections, treating rural–urban differences as a continuum, not a dichotomy.
Demography Demography, Politics and Elections, Rural, Urban Publication
Carsey Perspectives: Children in United States, Both White and Black, Are Growing Up in Dramatically Smaller Families
African American children are growing up in dramatically smaller families than they were 50 years ago.1 At a postwar peak in 1960, the average black child was one of 6.53 siblings, but today he or she is one of 3.18 (see Box 1). This measure has also dropped, but less dramatically, for the average white child, for whom “sibsize” was 4.1 in 1960 and today is 2.93.2 When we compare children of poorly educated and well-educated mothers, whatever their race, we find a similar pattern of falling sibsize and reduced differences in sibsize over the past 50 years.3 Because large families must spread their resources among their children, these declines, especially among the less well-off, enable families to devote more resources to each child and are likely to have transformed children’s lives in a positive and egalitarian direction.4 This change is also likely to have had important implications for trends in poverty, though these implications have not been examined. Children in small families benefit simply by virtue of having limited resources divided fewer ways. As such, declining average sibsize since the mid-20th century is an important development in the United States. The drop in the number of siblings also raises a key question: is falling sibsize offsetting some of the harmful effects on children of the transition from two-parent families to single-parent families? This latter change has been widely noted and has caused great concern.5 The share of 8- and 9-year-old children whose father is absent from the family home has risen from 6 percent in 1960 to 22 percent in 2012 among whites and from 24 percent to 59 percent among blacks (see Box 2). At the same time, however, the share of 8- and 9-year-olds with sibsizes of five or more has fallen from 60 percent to 18 percent among blacks and from 27 percent to 9 percent among whites. Was it more challenging for children in the 1960s to grow up with two resident parents and many siblings than it is for children today to grow up with one resident parent and fewer siblings? This is a key question to ask in assessing what role family change has played in shaping the course of social inequality in America over the past half-century. Note: In this brief, Hispanics may be of either race, and we have not analyzed Hispanic sibsize trends separately. See the discussion in the concluding paragraphs.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program African Americans, Demography Publication
Data Snapshot: 2.1 Million More Childless U.S. Women Than Anticipated
In 2016, there were 2.1 million more childless women of prime child-bearing age than anticipated. The 19.5 million women age 20–39 in 2016 who had never given birth was 12 percent more than demographers would have expected given child-bearing patterns just before the Great Recession. In 2016, there were 7 percent more women 20–39 than ten years earlier, but 22 percent more who had never had a child.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography Publication
Data Snapshot: Hispanic Population of Child-Bearing Age Grows, but Births Diminish
The U.S. population grew by just 0.62 percent last year, the smallest rate of increase in eighty years. Future growth now depends on minority population gains, because the white population is no longer growing.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Hispanics Publication
Data Snapshot: Migration Fuels Largest New Hampshire Population Gain in a Decade
The population of New Hampshire grew by 7,800 between July of 2016 and July of 2017 to 1,343,000 according to new Census Bureau estimates. This is the largest population gain for the state since 2005 and 60 percent greater than last year, though it remains modest compared to gains in the 1980s and 1990s. Migration accounted for nearly all of the growth. New Hampshire had a net domestic migration gain of nearly 4,700 residents in migration exchanges with other states last year, compared to just 1,800 in the previous year.
Demography Demography, Migration, New Hampshire Publication
Data Snapshot: Ten Years After the Great Recession Began, U.S. Birth Rate Is at Record Low
Recent National Center for Health Statistics data show a record low birth rate in the United States, and no evidence of any upturn in this birth rate. Though other social and economic factors may also be influencing U.S. birth rates, the impact of the Great Recession persists. I estimate that in 2017, there were 700,000 fewer births in the United States than would have been expected had pre-recessionary birth rates continued among current women of childbearing age.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography Publication
Data Snapshot: U.S. Population Growth Continues to Slow Due to Fewer Births and More Deaths
The U.S. population grew by just 2,020,000 or 0.62 percent between July 2017 and July 2018 according to recent Census Bureau estimates. This is the lowest population growth rate since 1937.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography Publication
Data Snapshot: “Trump Towns” Swung Democratic in New Hampshire Midterms
New Hampshire municipalities with fewer college-educated residents, which generally offered strong support for Donald Trump two years ago, swung toward the opposing party in the 2018 midterms.
Demography, New Hampshire Civic Attitudes, Demography, New Hampshire, Politics and Elections, Public Opinion Publication
Deaths Exceed Births in Most of Europe, But Not in the United States
With the increased attention to Europe’s demographic future stimulated by the on-going immigration crisis, we present important new findings about the diminishing number of births compared to deaths in Europe and the United States from our recent article in Population and Development Review. When births fail to keep pace with deaths in a country there is a “natural” decrease in population and a substantial risk of population loss—loss that can often only be avoided by increased migration. Seventeen European nations have more people dying in them than being born, including several of Europe’s most populous countries. In contrast, in the United States, births exceed deaths by a substantial margin. See Figure 1. Our research focuses on the prevalence and dynamics of natural decrease in subareas of Europe and the United States in the first decade of the twenty-first century using counties (United States) or county-equivalents (Europe). We find that 58 percent of the 1,391 counties of Europe had more deaths than births during that period compared to just 28 percent of the 3,137 U.S. counties. Natural decrease is often intermittent at first with deaths exceeding births in some years, but not in others. Later, it becomes more persistent. In Europe, 41 percent of the counties had more deaths than births in every year we studied; 30 percent had it in some years; and in 29 percent births always exceeded deaths. Natural decrease was far less prevalent in the United States, where 11 percent of the counties had natural decrease in each year; 35 percent in some years; and in the majority of counties (53 percent) births always exceeded deaths. See Figure 2.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality Publication
Deaths Exceed Births in Record Number of U.S. Counties
In this fact sheet, author Kenneth Johnson examines new data released by the Census Bureau which provide insights into the continuing influence of the Great Recession on U.S. demographic trends. He reports that, for the first time in U.S. history, deaths exceeded births in two entire states: Maine and West Virginia, and a record 36 percent of all U.S.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality, Seniors Publication
Demographic and Economic Characteristics of Immigrant and Native-Born Populations in Rural and Urban Places
In recent years, researchers have documented the changing demographics of rural areas, with a specific focus on changes in racial-ethnic composition and immigration patterns, particularly the increased migration of Hispanics to rural places. In spite of this attention to the changing demographics of rural America, surprisingly little is known about how rural immigrants compare to both their urban peers and native-born counterparts. In this brief we use American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates to document demographic and economic characteristics of the immigrant and native-born populations in the United States by metropolitan status. We focus on a wide range of demographic and economic indicators that relate to immigrants’ ability to assimilate and thrive in rural America. Our analysis finds that rural immigrants are different than their rural native-born and urban immigrant counterparts on a host of demographic characteristics, including age, education, and family structure. Rural immigrants also differ from urban immigrants with regard to when they arrived in the United States and where from. In terms of economic characteristics, rural immigrants have relatively low family income and high poverty rates, even among those currently working and those who work full time.
Demography Demography, Poverty, Race, Rural, Urban Publication
Demographic Change in the Northern Forest
This brief examines the population redistribution in the Northern Forest, which includes thirty-four counties scattered across northern and central Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, Demography Demography, New England Publication
Demographic Trends in Rural and Small Town America
This report examines the changing demographics of rural America and shows that the makeup of rural America is changing as certain regions grow with the migration of retirees and baby boomers into amenity-rich areas. At the same time, other places face economic uncertainty as younger residents continue to leave in search of more opportunities. Racial and ethnic diversity, meanwhile, continues to increase.
Demography Demography, Migration, Race, Rural, Seniors, Young Adults Publication