Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Wisconsin's Population Rank Over the Last 100 Years

Bookmark and Share

Badger State population has dropped from 13th to 20th in the nation over the past century

This is Smart Politics' third in a series of reports on population trends among the states over the past 100 years when the U.S. House of Representatives settled at 435 seats in 1910. Previous reports focused on Minnesota and Iowa.

The latest U.S. Census numbers from 2010 reveal that Wisconsin's population has been eclipsed by two states for the second consecutive decade.

Although its population has increased an average of 9.4 percent for each of the last 10 decades, the Badger State's population as a percentage of the United States overall has simultaneously dropped each decade as well.

Wisconsin now has the 20th largest population in the country - down from 18th after the 2000 Census - after Arizona and Maryland passed it by during the last decade.

Based on current population trends, however, it does not appear Wisconsin will be eclipsed by any state in 2020, and will hold onto its #20 position.

Both Minnesota (#21) and Colorado (#22) decreased Wisconsin's advantage over the past 10 years.

The Gopher State reduced its population deficit vis-à-vis Wisconsin by 61,135 residents between 2000 (-444,196) and 2010 (-383,061) while Colorado reduced its by 404,624 residents between 2000 (-1,062,414) and 2010 (-657,790).

The problem for Wisconsin - as it attempts to preserve as large a U.S. House delegation as possible in the coming decades - is that it is not poised to pass up any of the 19 states ranked ahead of it.

In short, Wisconsin's population rank is only going to drop as the decades roll on.

This continues a pattern for the Badger State dating back 100 years, when it had the 13th largest population in the country in 1910.

Since then Wisconsin has eclipsed only one state in population - Georgia, two times (in 1930 and 1960) - although the Peach State passed Wisconsin back two times as well, in 1950 and in 1970 for good.

Seven other states have also surpassed the Badger State in population over the past century: North Carolina (1930), Florida (1960), Virginia (1960), Tennessee (2000), Washington (2000), Arizona (2010), and Maryland (2010).

As a result, the size of Wisconsin's U.S. House delegation has dropped from a high of 11 seats after the 1900 and 1910 Censuses to its current size of eight.

After the 1910 Census, Wisconsin was tied for the 12th largest House delegation in the country, falling to tied for 18th after the 2000 and 2010 Censuses.

Wisconsin Population and U.S. House Seat Rank by Census Period

Census
Pop. Rank
Passed
Passed by
Seats rank
1910
13
---
---
12 (t)
1920
13
---
---
12 (t)
1930
13
GA
NC
13 (t)
1940
13
---
---
13 (t)
1950
14
---
GA
13 (t)
1960
15
GA
FL, VA
13 (t)
1970
16
---
GA
16
1980
16
---
---
15 (t)
1990
16
---
---
15 (t)
2000
18
---
TN, WA
18 (t)
2010
20
---
AZ, MD
18 (t)
Table compiled by Smart Politics from U.S. Census Bureau data.

Wisconsinites as a percentage of the nation's total population has also declined each decade, dropping from 2.53 percent in 1910 to 1.84 percent in 2010.

This decline has taken place despite an average population growth of 9.4 percent in Wisconsin each decade over the past century.

But the 6.0 percent growth experienced by the Badger State over the last 10 years is the second lowest over the past 100 years, higher than only the 4.0 percent growth during the 1980s.

The largest growth in Wisconsin - like much of the nation - took place during the 1950s, with a 15.1 percent increase in its state population. The second highest period was the 1910s, with 12.8 percent.

Wisconsin Percentage of U.S. Population and Population Growth

Census
% of U.S. Population
% WI Growth
1910
2.53
---
1920
2.48
12.8
1930
2.39
11.7
1940
2.37
6.8
1950
2.27
9.5
1960
2.20
15.1
1970
2.17
11.8
1980
2.08
6.5
1990
1.97
4.0
2000
1.91
9.6
2010
1.84
6.0
Table compiled by Smart Politics from U.S. Census Bureau data.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Bachmann's Potential Presidential Pathway Not Well-Trodden
Next post: Republican Female U.S. Representatives Lead Commentary on Giffords Shooting

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting