Where Do Americans Live?
In my last pair of posts, I provided what I believe to be the best available data on interstate migration since 1900. But, as many readers know, I'm currently doing the research for a Podcast on the history of migration in America. And that history begins a long time before 1900. So I started asking myself: just how far back can I take the population record? I know that I can't really do migration before 1900. But even population would be interesting, and could give an idea.
The result is that I found a whole panoply of sources on state-level populations stretching back to 1630. I'm not going to do a post outlining the data in as much detail as I did for the history of migration, because I myself use many summary sources, and because, as I'll show below, I've made some substantial transformations of the data.
When I combine all the extant data, I can build a more-or-less annual time series of population for every state from 1630 to 2014. Put another way, we're coming up on 400 years of approximately continuous measurement of state-level population. That's pretty impressive. And it gives us a large body of information with which to work.
Virginia Share, Texas Share, New York Share, Florida Share, California Share and Pennsylvania Share of Long Population History datacards