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Blacks fleeing blue states

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Like me, Walter Russell Mead has been studying the 2010 Census figures with the aid of this excellent interactive graphic by the New York Times. He focuses in this terrific American Interest blogpost on the fact that the black population has been declining in what he calls “blue state America”—states and cities with high state government spending, generous welfare benefits. From 2000 to 2010 the black population declined 11% in the District of Columbia, 4% in Hawaii (where Barack Obama was counted in the 1970 Census and, depending on whether he was in college or not on April 1, in the 1980 Census), and 1% in California, Illinois, Michigan and New York. In contrast, the black population declined by less than 0.5% in Louisiana, despite the mass exodus after Hurricane Katrina. Mickey Kaus offers some interesting speculations on this phenomenon. I plan to take a look at black and Hispanic population patterns as revealed in the Census in a subsequent column.