For those that question the impact of the oil boom, I offer up this post on birth rates. Now the answers are not quite as obvious as you might expect. It is probably important that you recall my earlier post about the net migration by county for North Dakota (found here). The beginning year for our look at birth rates is 2011 where we see the leaders in birth rates are counties with sizable Native American populations. There is, as yet, no boom in the Bakken area, and there is a remarkable degree of consistency as far as rates across the state.
I am teaching demographic methods, population analysis, whatever you want to call it this summer. The class title is not the really important thing to me, it is more a matter of content. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for accurate titles, but neither title is deceptive and most people have no idea what it is anyway regardless of the title.
With that in mind I thought I would include a few maps from my recent presentation at the state demographics conference. I gave the morning keynote address and talked about the basics of some of the demographic changes as well as the implications of those changes. The following series of maps is pretty important confirmation of what happened in North Dakota.
It will be really important to pay attention to the color scale on these maps. The lighter the color the higher the amount of net migration per 1,000 people in the population. Net migration is the amount of inflow less the amount of outflow, so higher numbers imply a higher local population, at least due to the migration aspects.
Clearly we see the impacts of the oil boom here. Enormously positive net migration into western North Dakota, particularly the Bakken region was the norm in 2011 and 2012.
It is Veteran’s Day in the US, and I thought we should look at the distribution of veterans across the country and North Dakota. To do this I grabbed some data from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. It includes both actual and projected veteran population data. First a look at the US as a whole.
A student of mine, Richard Carpenter, has some interesting graphs and discussion of voting participation in the US compared to population on his blog. At various times in this election both candidates discussed the notion that they are brining new people to the voting booths, though I think we need to wait and see before declaring this some type of transformational election.
The 2015 ACS data came out from the Census Bureau in mid-September and gave us lots to chew on for the state of North Dakota. The four counties reported in the 1 year data are Burleigh, Cass, Grand Forks, and Ward. All three counties gained population from 2014. Cass increased the most with 4,507 more people, while Burleigh increased by 2,488, Ward by 1,891, and Grand Forks increased by 778.
I enjoyed my guest hosting duties on the radio today and wanted to follow-up on a question from a caller. The caller wanted to know how many people were currently working and paying into Social Security and if the number were lower than in the past and, as a result, causing some of the financial woes for the program. Actually the number of workers paying in right now is the highest it has been, but what I told the caller to pay attention to was the number or workers per retiree, or beneficiary. The OASDI trustees report (available here) gives all this information, but I boiled it down to a simple graph.
JT tends to ask me the following question: “What worries me about the outlook for ND?” Over the last few years I answered that there was not much. That was then, this is now. North Dakota hit its first oil price catastrophe for this round of the oil boom and we are watching to see the consequences. One of the issues that worries me has to do with the demographics for the state as a whole. In this piece I will focus on the 65-and-over population and later on we can talk about other dimensions.
JT and I talked many times about pensions and the unfortunate arithmetic behind most defined-benefit pensions. We keep seeing issues arise with the pensions in places like Detroit, or now Illinois. To reiterate, I have no issue with the defined-benefit pension plan in theory. The issues I have focus on the management, or should I say mismanagement, of the pension plan. The mismanagement really falls into two categories: investment of pension fund assets bordering on fraud and, a seemingly willful ignorance about the changes in life spans for people (in this case plan recipients).
For those interested in a little more detail here is a nice little graph for you:
With the semester drawing to a close and the summer session getting ready to start soon my thoughts turned towards population issues. (I teach a population analysis class in the summer for the graduate students.) One of topic coming up in that class on a regular basis is pensions, particularly the math behind pensions. I thought a little post about the issues surrounding defined benefit pensions in order. JT also asked about alternative uses of the $3 billion available in the legacy fund when it becomes available in the future. So let’s start with this issue.