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U.S. population moving west, south: census

05-12-2011 16:39 BJT

TAMPA, the United States, May 11 (Xinhua) -- A number of recently released U.S. census reports shows that the American population is continuing to move West and South.

A large number of Hispanics is moving into southwestern states, while numerous African Americans are moving into various southern states, according to the 2010 U.S. Census Demographic Profiles.

The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, and its population count serves as the basis for apportioning electoral votes and seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The West is now home to the four fastest-growing states -- Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho -- according to census figures.

Most of these states are under Republican control, from county to federal government representation levels.

"From Brigham City down to the area known as the Spanish Fork, there has been noticeable (population) growth," said Kelly Patterson, a professor of political science at Brigham Young University.

"We're (Utah) a fairly conservative state. We haven't voted for a Democrat for president in a long time, so President Obama will have a tough time here in next year's (presidential) election," Patterson said.

This also seems to be the case in Idaho, said Bryan McQuide, an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Idaho.

"We're still very primarily Republican, even with the population growth," McQuide said. "The real competitive political races are going to be the state Congressional elections."

As the country's mean center of population has been continuously moving West and South, the Midwest can no longer be considered the country's heartland or the seat of "mainstream America."

The released figures also show that tens of thousands of people from various Central and South American countries have moved to Florida between the years 2000 to 2010.

Some political commentators have noted that many of these people came from countries with liberal governments, adding once these people get registered to vote in elections, they are more likely to vote for a Democratic political candidate than a Republican one.

According to the census, approximately 30,000 people from Central and South America have moved to the Tampa area, and even more (slightly over 70,000) to Orlando in central Florida from 2000 to 2010.

"Traditionally, the Latins of Florida, especially the Cubans, voted Republican, but that is no longer the case. The Latin vote in Florida is now more diversified," said Robert E. Crew Jr., associate dean of the College of Social Sciences, Florida State University.

"In 2008, Obama won Orange County (in Orlando, and a long-time Republican bastion), and a major reason is because he got many votes from Puerto Ricans, who, at least here in Florida, have a tendency of voting for the Democrats," the expert said.


Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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