Red States Have Significantly Higher Percentages of Minors than Blue States

Courtesy Public Domain Pictures

by James C. Sherlock

The Census Bureau yesterday released part of its 2022 population estimates.

It showed marked differences in the percentages of children and adolescents under 18 among the states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

Adults in red states are raising more children on average than those in blue states. And it is not a close call.

I did not have a figure in mind, but the magnitude of the imbalance surprised me.

Eighteen of the 20 states with the most kids as a percentage of their populations vote Republican. Of the other two, #12 Georgia has split its gubernatorial and Senate votes between the two parties. #16 Minnesota votes blue.

#30 Virginia is slightly below the national average in percentage of minors.

The United States population is estimated at 333,287,557 of which 72,450,827 are under the age of 18. The rule of large numbers applies.

#21 California, with nine million more people than #2 Texas, has only a million more minors.

Utah has the highest percentage of minors, with 27.6% of its 3.4 million population under the age of 18, totaling nearly a million kids. Vermont has the lowest among the states, at 17.7%. Vermont’s population of 647,064 includes only 114,757 children.

Puerto Rico (17.7% and 52nd) and the District of Columbia (18.5% and 48th) were both notable laggards, as were Massachusetts (46th), Rhode Island (47th), New Hampshire (49th), Maine (50th) and Vermont (51st).

Virginia is 30th with 21.5% of our population of 8,683,619 under 18, just below the national average of 21.7%.

The Virginia estimate includes 1,866,910 under the age of 18. The age groups are not fully comparable, but for reference Virginia public schools enrolled 1,263,342 students this fall.

Even the famously large and aged population of red Florida sports a higher percentage of its total population under 18 than do five blue states and the District of Columbia.

There are social, political and economic implications, but I’ll leave it to readers to make their own assessments.

Update Dec. 23 at 12:20.

After decades of rapid population increase, Florida now is the nation’s fastest-growing state for the first time since 1957, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2022 population estimates released today.

Florida’s population increased by 1.9% to 22,244,823 between 2021 and 2022, surpassing Idaho, the previous year’s fastest-growing state.

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21 responses to “Red States Have Significantly Higher Percentages of Minors than Blue States”

  1. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    Most are also anti abortion.

  2. Modern life and the choices it takes to live in an urban area with job growth does not lend itself to having a large family.

    And the majority of the minors in Texas are Hispanic.

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      The majority of persons under-18 are Hispanic in California, New Mexico and Arizona as well.

      They are also border states, yet have national average percentages of minors.

      Texas is the outlier in that metric among the border states.

      1. Because of a more dynamic economy due to energy and to having cheaper housing than California and Arizona versus wages.

        1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
          James C. Sherlock

          New Mexico, home of part of the Permian Basin, is more economically dependent upon energy than Texas.

          1. The oil and gas companies in Dallas and Houston would disagree. It is more than production. The largest refinery in the U.S. is located in Beaumont, Tx. High paying blue collar jobs and does not require being a roughneck.

          2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            Refinery jobs pay well, but for a good reason. High skilled, dangerous jobs.

          3. The average construction job is much more dangerous than a refinery job. The same like driving long haul trucks.

    2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      The census bureau estimates that over 80% of the U.S. population today lives in urban areas.

      The final numbers of urban/rural estimates by state and by urban area will be available this month.

      Until then, I would not assume anything about a particular state population.

      As example of the unexpected, Utah had the 10th most urbanized population in the 2010 census at 92%. Most expect that figure to rise this time.

      1. The Urban Institute used to use the term ” communities of economic opportunities.” Those used to be called the boom towns. The problem is that in places like NYC, DC, Austin, Silicon Valley , the housing costs are too high for family formation for the middle and under classes.
        A good anecdote is where the elevator, fire suppression system, or HVAC service techs live. There are lots of jobs for them in urban cores but most of them live in the far exurbs and drive into work. Even though they are well paid, they never live in mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods.

  3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    I don’t see anything new here. Red states are more rural and historically rural families have more children than do urban ones.

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      That is a generalization that does not survive close inspection. See my reply to Teddy above.

  4. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

    Message from the left. Don’t have lots of kids because of climate change. Let in illegal immigrants with lots of kids despite climate change. Back in the old days, when journalists were professionals instead of arms of the Democratic Party, we’d see this contradiction being explored.

  5. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Percentages are a valid analysis tool. However, the base must not be ignored. With one exception, Texas, the states with relatively high percentages of minors are those with relatively fewer people. Nationwide, 52 percent of those 17 and under are in blue states.

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    And what percentage in poverty?

    Red staters need lots and lots of kids to replace the social safety nets found in Blue states. Put those kids to work to boost the household income.

    For you conspiracy theorists, it’s a Democrat plot. Those are replacements.

    1. Kids do not replace the safety net. However, family formation is much cheaper in places like Texas because housing in DFW, Houston, and San Antonio is much cheaper than housing in California, Boston, NYC, Philly, or DC.

    2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      Perhaps, Nancy, a federal program to limit family sizes is indicated. Even beyond Medicaid abortions.

      China had one. Worth a look by the Biden administration, don’t you think?

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        So… limit family size in order to pay for the next Conservative tax cut for the rich… that is the corner you think we face…???

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Oh Hell no. Those newbies will be Democrats. Only old white fools want to be a Republican, right?

        1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
          James C. Sherlock

          Check the Florida gubernatorial election results. And Texas towns with majority Hispanic voters.

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