Hello, I am reporting in from Washington DC where I am working for a few days. Undoubtedly the Beltway atmosphere inspired today's posting. After reading today's (December 13th) newspapers -- Washington Post, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal -- two items that I feel are very related caught my attention in USA Today:
- 2010 Census and US Congressional seat allocations
- Immigrants by State
The consulting firm, Election Data Services (EDS), reported that my home State of Iowa is likely to lose one of its five US House of Representatives seats following the 2010 US Census thus reducing its political clout in Washington DC even more. EDS's president, Kim Brace, attributed this population loss (which equates to nearly 700,000 people per US House seat) to the fact the "people continue to go to where nicer weather is........"
Now despite the fears of the central planners in the environmental movement Global Warming is not going to transform wintry Des Moines, Iowa into the next sunny Las Vegas, Nevada any time soon so residents are likely to continue leaving the Hawkeye State for warmer venues. Perhaps Iowa's economic development community, http://www.pdiowa.org, can exert its leadership capacity to open Iowans' minds to a historically successful economic development tool -- IMMIGRATION.
IMMIGRANTS BY STATE (Timeframe - January 2000 to March 2005):
STATE IMMIGRANTS' SHARE OF STATE POPULATION - abbreviated list:
1. California 27.8%
2. New York 20.5%
3. New Jersey 18.7%
4. Florida 18.3%
5. Hawaii 17.2%
6. Nevada 17.1%
7. Texas 15.1%
8. Arizona 14.8%
9. Massachusetts 13.8%
10. District of Columbia 13.5%
23. Minnesota 7.3% -- my adopted home state
29. Iowa 5.1% -- my home state
50. West Virginia 0.4%
From my perspective this chart represents one of the key, historical drivers of economic growth in the USA -- cheap labor, motivated workers seeking a better life, and new ideas generated by immigrants creating a new life in America.
Based on this chart I would offer the following observations/suggestions:
- The states with the highest percentages of immigrant populations tend to be the richest and most populous (think -- numerous US House of Representatives seats) states in the USA -- California, New York, New Jersey, and Florida are the Top 4 states in this list.
- Iowa -- ranked #29 of the 50 states in this list with only 148,000 immigrants moving into the state from 2000 to 2005 which is nearly 550,000 people short of a US House of Representatives seat allocation. I would advocate an official State of Iowa policy (both civil society and the Department of Economic Development) focused on recruiting new immigrants to Iowa. One target group might be recent European university graduates for two reasons -- 1.) the poor performance of European economies and 2.) to overcome the "soft racism" that exists in Iowa by recruiting immigrants similar to the current ethnic background of current Iowans.
- West Virginia (0.4% of the state's population is immigrants) -- despite the billions of our tax dollars US Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia, http://www.slate.com/id/2075662/) has secured (stolen?) from Washington DC for West Virginia this state remains one of the poorest in our nation. The "Byrd Method" has failed to create wealth in West Virginia (#5 in the USA in terms of highest poverty rates -- http://www.census.gov/acs ) so they need to explore new options such as recruiting 500,000 immigrants to live in the state which is a better option for immigrants seeking a new life in America and for current American taxpayers.
Immigration not taxation,