Over the course of one year, the South and West saw population surge, but the rest of the U.S. remained flat or even declined, a recently released report of the Census Bureau shows. According to the official figures, the states with the largest population gains are Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, and Nevada.
The four states already played a significant role when it comes to electing an candidate for the Oval Office, but their demographic dynamics suggests that they would play an even more important role in the future elections.
Demography experts and political analysts believe that on the short term Democrats would benefit from the increase as the Southern and Western states will also see a gain in minority populations, which historically have supported the party.
But in the next decade, Republicans would benefit from the population growth, experts believe, because of the Electoral College system among other reasons.
The Census Bureau report also shows that Florida added more population than California did for the first time since 1996. Florida now has a population of nearly 20.3 million, gaining more than 1,000 people every day.
But the bulk of new people are immigrants, the report revealed, with Cuba the leading cause of the surge. Currently, analysts try to figure out how immigrants would influence the presidential election in the Sunshine State since the 2012 election was won by a 1 percent margin.
Additionally, retirees who came into the state lately tend to lean right and voted for Republican nominees such as Mitt Romney, while the Latino community in the state showed support for Barack Obama.
So, political pundits wonder whether the recent surge in Florida’s population could influence the fate of the presidential election especially if one of the state’s candidates such as Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush gets nominated.
North Carolina added more than 100,000 people in one year, who propelled the state for the first time beyond the 10 million limit. Analysts believe that the recent shift in demographic patterns may be caused by tech careers in the state’s ‘research triangle’ and the warm climate, which is especially appealing for seniors from cooler states.
While North Carolina preferred Republicans in the latest presidential race, a growing African-American population, which favors Democrats by design, could change the situation in 2016.
As of July 1, the overall U.S. population was 321.4 million, displaying the same rate growth from a year before. The report shows that there were fewer births this year than a year prior to the economic crisis.
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