Weekend open thread: "Demographics are destiny" edition

All topics are welcome in this open thread. Representative Steve King (R, IA-04) inspired the unifying theme of this weekend’s post, when he approvingly linked to this recent article by Heather Mac Donald called “Practical Thoughts on Immigration.” King commented, “USA declining 2 Third World status bc shrinking %age who would reverse course don’t realize demographics r destiny.” At this writing, King has not responded to my request that he clarify whether he meant to say that a U.S. where non-Hispanic whites are a minority would inevitably sink to “Third World status.”

Meanwhile, the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that immigration contributed greatly to Iowa’s population growth of 2 percent between 2010 and July 1, 2014.

After the jump I’ve enclosed a map showing the latest Iowa county population estimates, some links on the Census Bureau data, and excerpts from Mac Donald’s commentary, which struck a chord with King.

The Iowa QuickFacts page from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the 2014 population estimate is 3,107,126, a 2.0 percent increase from the 3,046,869 counted in the 2010 census. The national population increased by about 3.3 percent over the same time period.

Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson reported on March 27 that Iowa’s population has increased for the 26th year in a row.

“We have had slow growth since 1988, so 26 years of growth in our state,” [Gary] Krob [of the State Data Center] says. “Sometimes I think that gets overlooked when we start looking at some of the smaller communities and people moving out of some of the smaller counties. But the state as whole has actually been growing in population for 28 years.” The Census Bureau says it is Iowa’s longest period of sustained population growth since 1900. The state’s growth continues to be centered around the larger cities.

“We saw growth in 31 counties in Iowa, out of those 31 counties, only one county, Lyon county is not in or adjacent to a metropolitan or micropolitan area. So the growth we are seeing in Iowa is primarily in urban areas,” according to Krob. […]

More than 58 percent of Iowa residents now live in the state’s twenty-one metropolitan counties, up from over 53 percent after the 2000 census.

Krob says the numbers track the domestic migration, or people moving in from others states, and international migration, or people moving into Iowa from other countries. “We have a slight negative domestic migration – we lost about 4,000 people with domestic migration – but that number is a lot lower than we saw in the last decade,” Krob says. “We have very high international migration, so we see a lot of people moving into Iowa from other countries.”

Between 2010 and 2014 the numbers show Iowa gained 21,447 residents from other nations. Births, another factor in population growth, were slightly ahead of deaths in the state, Krob says.

This table shows the estimated population of every Iowa county, listed alphabetically. Here’s a population map showing estimates as of July 1, 2014, uploaded by Radio Iowa based on a State Data Center graphic:

Iowa population map (2014 data) photo Census-map_zpsgri3atyu.jpg

From the February 2015 edition of Imprimis: “Practical Thoughts on Immigration” by Heather Mac Donald.

We are importing poverty and educational failure. If you want to see America’s future, look no further than my home state of California, which is a generation ahead of the rest of the country in experiencing the effects of unchecked low-skilled immigration.

Nearly 50 percent of all California births are now Hispanic, and the state’s Hispanic population is now almost equal to the white population. The consequences of this demographic shift have been profound. In the 1950s and ’60s, California led in educational achievement. Today, with a majority Hispanic K-12 population and the largest concentration of English language learners in the country, California is at the bottom of the educational heap. Over a third of California eighth graders lack even the most rudimentary math skills; 28 percent are equally deficient in reading. The mathematics performance gap between Hispanic and white eighth-graders has not budged since 1990; the reading gap has narrowed only slightly since 1998. […]

California is at the epicenter of the disturbing phenomenon of “long-term English learners.” You would think that an English learner would be someone who grew up in a foreign country speaking a foreign language, and who came to the U.S. only later in life. In fact, the vast majority of English learners are born here, but their cognitive and language skills are so low that they are deemed non-native English speakers. Nationally, 30 percent of all English learner students are third-generation Americans. […]

To be sure, many illegal Hispanic aliens possess an admirable work ethic and have stabilized some moribund inner-city areas like South Central Los Angeles. But thanks to their lack of social capital, many of their children and grandchildren are getting sucked into underclass culture. […]

This social service bureaucracy in barrio schools is just the tip of the iceberg. Welfare use among immigrants and their progeny is stubbornly high, because their poverty rates are stubbornly high. Hispanics are the biggest users of government health care and the biggest supporters of Obamacare. They favor big government and the higher taxes necessary to pay for it. The claim that low-skilled immigration is an economic boon to the country as a whole is false. It fails to take into account the government services consumed by low-skilled immigrants and their children, such as schools, hospitals, and prisons.

I challenge Steve King to show me any second- or third-generation Americans in Iowa who are “long-term English learners.” Every Iowan I’ve ever met who was raised here by immigrant parents has been completely fluent in English.

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  • California's educational decline

    began with Prop. 13 which froze property tax rates. Other austerity measures added to the problem. Public schools were starved for revenue and class sizes increased. The same cycle is beginning in Iowa thanks to the property tax cuts enacted in the last legislative session.