Thursday, February 12, 2015

Population figures for the American Nations

For those with an interest in the regional model set forth in my most recent book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, here are population figures for the U.S. portions of each of the nations as per the 2010 census.

From most populous to least populous:

Greater Appalachia         56.56 million
Yankeedom                      55.06 million
Deep South                      41.36 million
Midlands                          37.05 million
El Norte                           31.54 million
Far West                           27.81 million
New Netherland               18.07 million
Left Coast                        16.96 million
Tidewater                         11.93 million
New France                        2.76 million
First Nation                        0.06 million

Also, for those keeping count: the Spanish Caribbean section of south Florida has a population of 4.85 million; Hawaii (Greater Polynesia) has 1.36 million people. (Thanks to Nicollette Staton of the Miami University of Ohio's geography department for the calculations.)

If you're unfamiliar with the American Nations map, start with this Washington Post article and, if for a deeper and better explanation, this Washington Monthly feature.


29 comments:

  1. Thank you! I meant to do this earlier. It allows me to complete a project.... ;)

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  2. Question: are the Canadian/Mexican sections of these nations factored into these totals?

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    1. "...for the U.S. portions of each of the nations..."

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    2. Anonymous nails it.

      JayMan - if you have ability to access Canadian population figures by Census Statistical Unit and blend it with my spreadsheet coding all the CSU's by nation, that would be terrific.

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    3. Population data on Mexican states. I'd use 2010 for consistency with US figures.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mexican_states_by_population

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    4. Census data would indeed be ideal, but it would be a project I'd have to hold off on for now. :)

      I did do a "quick and dirty" method of estimating the Canadian nations (mostly, using language and ethnic statistics), which is close enough for this purpose. I checked how represented each nation was by my readers (that is, to the extent those that answered the poll are representative – not a "scientific" poll :) )

      Reader Poll Results | JayMan's Blog

      The totals I got for the Canadian nations were:

      Yankeedom (added English-speaking populations of the Maritime provinces): 1.44 million
      Midlands (English-speaking Ontario + Winnipeg Metro area): 10.8 million
      New France (Non-Aboriginal Quebec + French-speaking populations of the Maritime provinces and Ontario): 10.8 million
      The Far West (Non-Aboriginal populations of Prairie provinces + British Columbia minus Winnipeg metro): 7.02 million
      Newfoundland (Non-Aboriginal population): ~500,000
      First Nation (Nunavut + Northwest Territories + Aboriginal populations of Yukon Terr and all bordering provinces): 1.29 million (likely overestimated)

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    5. I left out the Left Coast, didn't I?

      Well, that's mostly the Greater Vancouver area; the few communities along the BC coast add less than 20,000. All told works out to 2.5 million.

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    6. Sounds like a pretty good set of estimates. You're missing some small pockets -- northern Quebec and Labrador for First Nation -- plus Victoria Island, BC for Left Coast, but that should be pretty good ballpark figures.

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  3. Is there enough data to plot trend-lines [over time] for each 'nation'?

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    1. The data is certainly there from the US census bureau, but I haven't accessed it yet in a usable form. Current area of concentration are historic election results...

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  4. It allows me to complete a project too... thanks for this Colin.
    http://thehifisite.com/

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  5. Hi Colin. I was wondering under what nation DC was considered for these population estimates. Also, which counties were considered splits between two and were there any counties considered to be part of an distant enclave, like Milwaukee, which were taken into account. Thanks

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    1. DC is not in any of these nations, so was not included. (Montgomery is in Midlands; Fairfax/Arlington in Tidewater, etc but the District itself is a federal zone.) There are only two counties that are officially split "50/50": Cook County, IL (Yankee/Midlands) and the City of New Orleans (New France/Deep South.) All other sub-enclaves -- Milwaukee, Cinci, etc -- are subsumed into the dominant nation.

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    2. I read somewhere that Chicago and the northern suburbs could be classified as Yankee, while the south and west suburbs would be Midlands; is that indeed the case? Also, if one wanted to divide up New Orleans, are there Wards you would consider more Deep South vs New France?

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  6. Colin, any chance you'd be willing to share the county list for the 11 nations to
    help answer this question:

    http://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/190767/where-can-i-find-gis-files-tha
    t-shows-the-11-nations-of-the-usa

    Thanks for your consideration!

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    Replies
    1. Is this county list still available? It would definitely help me with a project as well

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    2. Drop me an email. colin at colinwoodard dot com.

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    3. Just read American Nations--such a good read. I too would like data that would let me build a ArcGIS shapefile. I'll try the email-request to the author.
      S. Jaretzki

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  7. I love the theory of the American nations, but I just have wondered what the rationale for choosing the eleven that you did and not south Florida and hawaii? Do they have little in the way of influence and signifiacant contribution?

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    1. Reply follows. At the time, Blogspot wouldn't allow me to use the "reply" function....

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  8. Joseph - The book explains this, and also the absence of Newfoundland. They had little influence on the rest of the continent's story, and yet including them would require telling the history of each's "nation" -- Greater Polynesia, Maritime New Spain, and Newfoundland-ia -- over 400 years. Just a bridge too far to take on in a single volume.

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  9. Do you know which states are dominated by what cultural nations?

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  10. Will you ever do a second volume of American nations, illustrating the remaining nations.

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  11. What would say the archetypes of each nation would be. Expamle, yankeedom are the prophet, the deep south are the slavers ect.also do you think south Florida would be the dreamer

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  12. Joseph - Yes, I do know which are dominated, and which are not really dominated by any one nation. You can probably guess it pretty easily looking at the map and locating major population centers.

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  13. Relevant I think to this discussion, I recently did a party breakdown of the house of representatives by nation as best I could using these county and population totals. The goal was to try to understand the current "geopolitical" situation. Thought you or other readers might be interested...here were my results:

    Dem-Rep Nation
    48-32 Yankeedom
    8-67 Appalachia
    17-44 Deep South
    17-32 Midlands
    32-15 El Norte
    12-27 Far West
    21-4 New Netherlands
    22-2 Left Coast
    7-9 Tidewater
    4-7 South Florida
    1-3 New Orleans
    2-0 Hawaii

    What I concluded is that Yankeedom has lost control of the Democratic party to the Left Coast and New Netherlands while the Southern Alliance-supported Republican party is now dominated by Appalachia (Tea Party populism/evangelism) rather than Deep South who generally find these new Republicans disgraceful and distasteful.

    Though I haven't done a time series analysis, based on the political landscape, I suspect this shift has taken place over the last 2-3 decades. Money and technology have a much larger influence on campaigns now which I believe has given rise to stronger Democrat ties to Wall Street and Silicon Valley, and therefore a tendency towards laissez faire business and celebration of diversity and multiculturalism that has proven difficult for Yankeedom and the Midlands to support, though the Dems for now, maintain strong support from El Norte, a nation very concerned about border control and immigration.

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    1. Yanks are dismayed that bankers and the ultrarich are getting off the hook for exploiting communities; that college costs more even while it matters less compared to financial success (which incidentally often derives from inheritance or luck); and that it's easier and more profitable to outsource jobs, hire cheap immigrant labor, and sponsor highly-skilled immigrants than it is to build, educate, and assimilate. The result is a strengthening Sanders/Warren progressive wing...very typical moralistic Yankee movement.

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    2. Midlanders (my homeland) can see that Wall Street and Silicon Valley don't give a hoot about them. The middle class is shrinking, unions are weakening, manufacturing is weakening, and there's a long overdue minimum wage hike. The Democrats of late have weakened bank regulations, bailed out major institutions of other nations, can't keep up with regulating technology, and allowed soaring debt and college tuition. Where's the investment? ...more farm & ethanol subsidies? Thanks, but very few Midlanders are farmers. And the Midlands just doesn't care too much about social liberalism or diversity. That's why the population here has mostly checked out, allowing the more fiery Appalachianers among them to take the lead.

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