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Minnesota Leads Midwest in Birth-to-Death Ratio; Will Its 8th U.S. House Seat Be Saved?

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With the U.S. Census and reapportionment just around the corner, reports have come out during the past year, including data from Minnesota's own state demographer, that indicate the Gopher State is in real danger of losing a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.

While that may still happen, there is some good news for Minnesota residents that its eighth House seat might be saved.

An analysis of recently released data from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics finds that Minnesota has the best (largest) birth-to-death ratio among all 12 states in the greater Midwest region.

Data culled by Smart Politics from a new National Vital Statistics Report, reveals that Minnesota led the Midwest with 1.874 live births per death in 2008. Illinois was second in the region at 1.762 with South Dakota third at 1.740.

There were 72,213 live births in Minnesota last year, compared to 38,529 deaths, or 33,684 more births than deaths.

Minnesota's birth-to-death ratio was also larger than all nine states in the Northeast region of the country and all but two of the 17 Southern states and District of Columbia.

Overall, Minnesota ranked 14th in the country, with 11 of the 13 highest birth-to-death ratios coming from states in the Western region of the U.S., led by Utah (3.950) and Alaska (3.267). The only non-Western states ranked higher than Minnesota were Texas (#3, 2.458) and Georgia (#8, 2.151).

Minnesota needs every live birth it can get these days.

If Minnesota should lose a seat after the next census, they will send the fewest members to the U.S. House since the 1890s, and hold the smallest percentage of U.S. House seats since the 1880s, as reported by Smart Politics last December.

The Gopher State was the last state to receive eight Representatives to the U.S. House after the 2000 Census. Wisconsin, which had more than 440,000 residents, also has eight Representatives, along with Maryland and Missouri. Colorado and Alabama have seven while Indiana and Tennessee have nine.

Minnesota has a higher birth-to-death ratio than Maryland (1.799), Indiana (1.616), Wisconsin (1.548), Tennessee (1.454), Missouri (1.425), and Alabama (1.353).

Colorado, however, has a much higher birth-to-death ratio of 2.238, and the Rocky Mountain State has closed the gap with Minnesota by 340,000 residents since 2000, although the Gopher State still has approximately 280,000 more residents, according to population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau for 2008.

Minnesota has not surpassed any state in population during the past eight years, although Arizona has jumped ahead of the Gopher State (and several others) with its staggering 1.4 million gain in population since 2000.

State population, which determines what states will gain and lose seats under reapportionment, is shaped, of course, by more than the number of live births and deaths. Population also varies with the shifts in how many residents leave a state, as well as how many new residents move in (the latter factor is driving the population boom in Colorado).

Largest Live Birth-to-Death Ratio by State, 2008

Rank
State
Region
Births
Deaths
Ratio
1
Utah
West
55,559
14,064
3.950
2
Alaska
West
11,444
3,503
3.267
3
Texas
South
403,019
163,991
2.458
4
California
West
551,592
232,719
2.370
5
Idaho
West
25,288
11,006
2.298
6
Colorado
West
70,271
31,402
2.238
7
Arizona
West
99,873
45,493
2.195
8
Georgia
South
146,411
68,055
2.151
9
Hawaii
West
19,431
9,270
2.096
10
Nevada
West
39,167
18,942
2.068
11
Wyoming
West
7,976
4,175
1.910
12
New Mexico
West
29,683
15,586
1.904
13
Washington
West
90,721
48,347
1.876
14
Minnesota
Midwest
72,213
38,529
1.874
15
Virginia
South
107,150
59,038
1.815
16
Maryland
South
78,774
43,786
1.799
17
Illinois
Midwest
176,673
100,247
1.762
18
South Dakota
Midwest
12,089
6,946
1.740
19
Nebraska
Midwest
26,914
15,492
1.737
20
New York
Northeast
255,284
149,634
1.706
21
North Carolina
South
131,251
77,392
1.696
22
Kansas
Midwest
41,687
24,643
1.692
23
New Jersey
Northeast
112,658
68,506
1.644
24
South Carolina
South
63,001
38,354
1.643
25
Louisiana
South
64,396
39,634
1.625
26
Indiana
Midwest
88,176
54,612
1.615
27
Mississippi
South
45,411
28,910
1.571
28
Wisconsin
Midwest
72,471
46,813
1.548
29
Oregon
West
48,619
31,767
1.530
30
D.C.
South
7,794
5,115
1.524
31
North Dakota
Midwest
8,973
5,939
1.511
32
Oklahoma
South
54,898
36,945
1.486
33
Tennessee
South
85,319
58,676
1.454
34
Massachusetts
Northeast
76,526
52,892
1.447
35
Kentucky
South
58,402
40,720
1.434
36
Missouri
Midwest
81,099
56,919
1.425
37
Connecticut
Northeast
40,406
28,610
1.412
38
Montana
West
12,561
8,907
1.410
39
Iowa
Midwest
40,156
28,731
1.398
40
Arkansas
South
40,269
29,330
1.373
41
New Hampshire
Northeast
14,066
10,272
1.369
42
Michigan
Midwest
120,997
88,450
1.368
43
Florida
South
231,395
170,535
1.357
44
Ohio
Midwest
148,850
109,831
1.355
45
Alabama
South
64,683
47,821
1.353
46
Rhode Island
Northeast
12,006
9,774
1.228
47
Vermont
Northeast
6,275
5,119
1.226
48
Pennsylvania
Northeast
148,640
125,754
1.182
49
Maine
Northeast
13,672
12,433
1.100
50
Delaware
South
7,794
7,475
1.043
51
West Virginia
South
21,005
21,466
0.979
Note: National Vital Statistics Reports data compiled by Smart Politics.

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1 Comment


  • usually it is the case that poorer households have a higher birth ratio.

  • Leave a comment


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