2020 Census: Predictable California, Surprising New York and New Jersey

The US Census Bureau announced national, state and District of Columbia 2020 Census population totals yesterday. The big story in the media was the changes in Congressional apportionment, which are detailed later in this article.

Note: This article summarizes the first results of the 2020 census (national, states and DC). A table at the end of the article provides 2020 census figures, change from 2010, percentage change and comparison to expected, along with rankings in each category.

The big stories, from a demographic rather than a political perspective were (in my judgment) in California, New York and New Jersey, Texas and Florida, as well as the Mountain West.

California, Texas and Florida

First, as predicted, the California malaise continued. For the second Census in a row, California placed second after Texas in total population gain. Texas gained 4.0 million residents, while California gained 2.3 million. The Texas lead of 1.7 million nearly doubled compared to its 900,000 lead between 2000 to 2010. But there’s more. Florida also led California over the last census period by 450,000. California had added the largest number of residents in every census from 1930 through 2010.

New York and New Jersey

But the big surprise is New York, in which the Census Bureau was estimating an increase of about 75,000 residents between 2010 and 2019. The newly reported census figure for New York was up 823,000 from 2010, This more than doubles New York’s 2000-2010 gain.

There’s good reason to believe that the unexpected New York increase will be contained in the New York metropolitan area. New Jersey, much of which is included in the New York metropolitan area, also had a 2020 census reported population much higher than expected. Through 2019, the Census Bureau estimated that New Jersey’s population had risen just over 100,000 from 2010. The new 2020 estimate of 9.82 million is nearly 500,000 greater than in 2010.

It will be interesting to see the distribution of the higher population when figures are available

Utah, Idaho and the Top Five Proportionate Gainers

Meanwhile, the stars in proportionate population growth were in the Mountain West. Utah led with an 18.2% increase. Idaho was second at 17.3%. Despite its huge population, Texas slipped into the number 3 position, at 15.9%. North Dakota, in the Great Plains, added 15.0%, with its more than 100,000 increase being more the state gained from 1920 to 2010. Mountain West Nevada placed 5th with a 15.0% increase.

States Losing Population

The largest loss, at 3.2% was in West Virginia. Mississippi (minus 0.2%) and Illinois (minus 0.1%) also lost population

Changes in Apportionment

Based on the new census counts six states will gain seats in Congress. Texas will gain two seats, while Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one. Seven states will lose one seat apiece, including California, for the first time since becoming a state in 1850. Illinois, Michigan, New York (despite the unexpected gain), Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will also lose seats.

View/download the Table of 2020 Census First Results (PDF)

Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm located in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He is a founding senior fellow at the Urban Reform Institute, Houston, a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University in Orange, California. He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris. His principal interests are economics, poverty alleviation, demographics, urban policy and transport. He is co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey and author of Demographia World Urban Areas.

Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (1977-1985) and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appointed him to the Amtrak Reform Council, to complete the unexpired term of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (1999-2002). He is author of War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life and Toward More Prosperous Cities: A Framing Essay on Urban Areas, Transport, Planning and the Dimensions of Sustainability.

Feudal Future Podcast — Education Exposed: Learning in a Post-COVID World

On today's episode of Feudal Future hosts Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky are joined by Dr. Roxanne Greitz Miller, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and the Interim Dean of the Attallah College of Educational Studies.

A member of Chapman's faculty since 2005, Dr. Miller holds the rank of tenured full professor with a joint appointment to Schmid College of Science and Technology. In addition to her teaching at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels, Dr. Miller has served as principal or co-principal investigator on state and federal research grants representing more than $3.5 million in funding and has published numerous refereed articles, book chapters, and comprehensive historical abstracts. Her research centers on teacher professional development, the home-to-school connection, and STEM education. She serves as the immediate past chair of the Small Colleges Special Interest Group of the Professional and Organizational Developers (POD) Network and served as both the Division K Teacher Education Program Co-Chair for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) from 2013-2016 and the contributing editor to NSTA’s Science Scope journal from 2005-2009.

[2:40] Challenges facing the education system post-COVID

[5:34] The Effects of Learning Loss

[13:45] Are we raising consumers of content?

[23:58] Demographic shifts and access to information in the college system

[31:00] Future of the university systems

This show is presented by the Chapman Center for Demographics and Policy, which focuses on research and analysis of global, national and regional demographic trends and explores policies that might produce favorable demographic results over time.

Listen on Apple Podcast

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Listen on Spotify

More podcast episodes & show notes at

Watch Episode on Youtube


Learn more about the Feudal Future podcast.

Learn more about Marshall Toplansky.

Learn more about Joel Kotkin.

Learn more about Dr. Roxanne Greitz Miller.

Join the Beyond Feudalism Facebook group.

Read the Beyond Feudalism report.
Learn about Joel's book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism.

More Londoners Turning to Cars

In an article by Edward Thicknesse, City A.M. reports that car use is rising in London, home of one of the high-income world’s best urban transit systems. Excerpts follow:

“New figures from Close Brothers Motor Finance, shared exclusively with City A.M., show that over a fifth of Londoners – 21 per cent – are now more likely to buy a car sooner than they had previously planned.”

“Seán Kemple, managing director of Close Brothers Motor Finance, told City A.M. that Londoners were now turning their back on Tube and bus travel.”

“With people urged to avoid public transport as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK has seen a resurgence in private car use over the last 12 months.”

Read the entire article at: Exclusive: Covid-19 drives Londoners behind the wheel sooner than planned.

Feudal Future Podcast — The Future of Africa's Middle Class

On today's episode of Feudal Future hosts Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky are joined by Bheki Mahlobo, Research Assistant at the Centre For Risk Analysis and Hugo Kruger, structural engineer and specialist in African economics.

[2:44] By 2050, 40% of the world’s population will be living in Africa

[6:59] Pros and Cons of Africa’s diversity

[12:45] Chinese model vs Democratic model

[33:00] Does Africa have a model for the future?

This show is presented by the Chapman Center for Demographics and Policy, which focuses on research and analysis of global, national and regional demographic trends and explores policies that might produce favorable demographic results over time.

Listen on Apple Podcast

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Spotify

More podcast episodes & show notes at

Watch Episode on Youtube


Learn more about the Feudal Future podcast.

Join the Beyond Feudalism Facebook group.

Read the Beyond Feudalism report.
Learn about Joel's book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism.

Housing Affordability in the Major Russian Metropolitan Areas, 3rd Quarter 2020

The Institute for Urban Economics presents the research on Housing Affordability in the major Russian metro area (as of the 3rd quarter 2020).

Despite economic distress and incomes drop housing prices displayed a strong positive trend in 16 out of 17 major metro markets in Russia.

Actually in the pandemic crisis housing markets are getting more influenced by the overall financial situation as well as by fundamental economic factors.

The price growth was encouraged among other reasons by the state program on the provision of subsidies for the mortgage interest rates accompanied by decline of savings yields.

Read/download the report here

Compare Electricity Rates by State

Compare energy costs in your area with a tool from SaveOnEnergy®. Energy rates vary depending on where you live. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) tracks electricity prices by state. The most recent reports from the EIA show the average residential electricity rate in the U.S. is 12.80 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).

SaveOnEnergy® provides customers with competitive energy plans from top providers, focusing specifically on the Texas deregulated energy market. They've developed a comparison tool that is updated monthly on electricity rates by state:

The Way You Move: Author Joel Kotkin on Migration Trends and the Future of CIties

Joel Kotkin joins Spencer Levy on The Weekly Take to discuss current migration trends and the future of cities.

Listen on Spotify

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The Death of the American City

Why More Americans Should Leave Home and Move to Other States

The Future of Remote Work and What it Means for Houston

This week I want to focus on a single CSM story, because it's the most insightful I've seen on what post-pandemic work might look like: Remote work is here to stay – and it’s changing our lives. There are so many great nuggets, insights, and excerpts in it, which I'll follow with what I think it all means for Houston:

“What the pandemic made blazingly obvious,” says a Manhattan entertainment lawyer, “is that there is no need for a physical office.” Only a complete lack of imagination, he says, kept the realization from dawning sooner. “Before the pandemic, we wouldn’t have taken the question [of going virtual] seriously. It wouldn’t have seemed possible.” ...

Wrote one top manager in an email posted by economist Tyler Cowen: “Speaking from personal experience as a white-collar Exec, the productivity gains for our highest value workers has been immense. The typical time-sucks and distractions of in-office work have been eliminated.... Mental focus on productive efforts is near constant. Perhaps most importantly, work travel is not happening.” ...

“Even before the pandemic,” he says, “big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago were losing population to suburbs, lower-cost metro areas, and less expensive states in what Zillow called ‘a great reshuffling.’”

The market research firm Forrester predicts a 60-30-10 split among organizations: post-pandemic, 60% will be hybrid, 30% will be all-in-the-office, and 10% will be all-remote. ...

If the expert consensus proves right, Americans won’t go back, either.

“As life at work [when remote] will be less social, people will have to get more of their socializing from elsewhere. So people will choose where they live more based on family, friends, leisure activities, and non-work social connections. Churches, clubs, and shared interest socializing will increase in importance. People will also pick where to live more based on climate, price, and views. Beach towns will boom, and the largest cities will lose.”

Might the center of gravity shift at least somewhat from the office to the neighborhood – back, in a sense, to something closer to a pre-industrial model? What might it mean for our culture if the human contact that offices used to provide is replaced by closer-to-home human connections? And how might that affect the health of local communities and even levels of societal trust? ...

Here Mr. Kotkin quotes Lenin: “There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen.”

Read the rest of this piece at Houston Strategies.

Tory Gattis is a Founding Senior Fellow with the Center for Opportunity Urbanism and co-authored the original study with noted urbanist Joel Kotkin and others, creating a city philosophy around upward social mobility for all citizens as an alternative to the popular smart growth, new urbanism, and creative class movements. He is also an editor of the Houston Strategies blog.

Housing Affordability Stinks!

Walk the World, hosted by Martin North, discusses the latest Demographia report on housing affordability. Why are prices relative to incomes so high?

Watch the video:

Regulation of Electric Power in Texas

Politicians, pundits, and the public at large have voiced deep concern that electricity was tragically unavailable to many Texans during the recent period of extreme cold. Claims that lax ERCOT planning caused the problem are exaggerated. “Grid independence” from federal regulation is manageable. The problem lies in the supervisory structure that regulates the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) - Texas’ Public Utility Commission (PUC), a three-member panel appointed by the state legislature, and our elected officials, ultimate guardians of the public interest.

To start, claims that ERCOT’s planning process is undisciplined are misleading. Published documents (December 2020, January 2021) evidence well-structured scenario planning of capacity, demand, and reserve margin, including grid requirements and fuel types. True, evolving events brought conditions not premised in these studies but laxness is an unwarranted criticism.

The next layer of electric power management: Oversight of ERCOT by the PUC. Here, critical commentary by knowledgeable observers is valid. To begin with, independent management of Texas’ power grid – that is, independent of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) – rests on reasonable logic, not merely the fabled secessionist tendencies of Texans.

Read the rest of this piece at Houston Strategies.

Jim Crump is an energy and chemical industry leader with a depth of industry experience gained with Shell, Accenture Consulting, DuPont, and ExxonMobil, who focuses on energy transition and sustainability.