Econ Piggy

The Nation's international trade balance in goods and services. Sales of new single-family houses. Total construction activity. U.S. retail and food services sales for the month. These are just a few of the key economic indicators released on a monthly and quarterly basis by the U.S. Census Bureau, which are in turn used by both the private and public sectors to make data-driven decisions. Last week, the Census Bureau announced that the public will now get access to those data faster than ever.

In recent years the movement of women into state-level offices has slowed after several decades of gains, and the 2014 elections did not alter this pattern. Efforts to actively recruit women for elected and appointed positions will be critical in determining what the future holds for women in state government. 

Chapter 8 of the 2015 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

The long awaited return to normal for the nation’s population growth and migration flows after a long lull that began during the Great Recession has yet to surface. This can be gleaned from a spate of recently released demographic statistics. The continued slowdown has implications for population growth in most states, especially the rapid population gainers of the pre-recession period. The continuing freeze on previously free-flowing migration streams across broad regions of the country suggests a revival will not occur anytime soon.

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The Midwest’s least-populated state continues to grow at the fastest rate in the nation. Between 2012 and 2013 alone, North Dakota’s population increased by more than 3 percent, new U.S. Census Bureau figures show. That is double the growth of nearly every other U.S. state. Over the past two years, Minnesota and South Dakota are the only other Midwestern states where population increased at a rate higher than the United States as a whole. Illinois, Michigan and Ohio continue to have among the slowest growth rates in the nation, and one consequence of that trend is the likely loss of congressional seats and Electoral College votes after the 2020 reapportionment.

According to the United Van Lines' 37th Annual Migration Study, which tracks the company’s customers move to and from during the course of the year, Oregon is the top moving destination of 2013. North and South Carolina take up the next two spots on the list, followed by the District of Columbia and South Dakota. Michigan, which was at or near the top of the outbound list for 16 consecutive years, finally appeared in the "balanced" category for 2013. 

The movement of women into state-level offices has slowed in recent years after several decades of gains, and following the 2012 elections, the numbers of women in both state legislative and executive branch offices increased only slightly. Efforts to actively recruit women for elected and appointed positions will be critical in determining what the future holds for women in state government.
 

Stateline Midwest ~ January 2013

North Dakota’s population is increasing faster than any other state in the nation, recent federal data show, at a time when the Midwest as a whole is lagging behind U.S. growth.

Stateline Midwest ~ November 2012

When the 2012 session of the Kansas Legislature adjourned last May, lawmakers left one important piece of business unfinished. Their inability to come to closure on the politically charged issue of redistricting left Kansas alone among the 50 states without a new set of maps going into this year’s congressional and legislative elections, and eventually forced a panel of federal district court judges to finish the job.

This year’s stalemate may have been unprecedented in the Sunflower State, but Kansas’ redistricting process is unique among Midwestern states in other ways as well. Like all other states, Kansas relies on U.S. Census Bureau data as a starting point in the decennial process of drawing new district lines. 

But the Kansas Constitution requires that the population data provided by the federal government be adjusted before maps are drawn.

Chapter 8 of the 2011 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

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