Census Bureau: Caddo Parish Population Loss Continues

March 24, 2016

In data released overnight, the 2015 Annual Population Estimates report by the U. S. Census Bureau shows a loss of yet another -1,242 Caddo Parish residents between June 30, 2014 and July 1, 2015.

The loss drops Caddo’s population total to 251,460.  Since April 1, 2010, the official date of the 2010 Census, the parish has now lost -3,509, or -1.4%, of its residents.  (data here).

The critical “Components of Population Change” data adds important context:  “Natural Increase” in populations combines with “Net Migration” to detail the population change of all places.

a.  In the April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015 time period, Caddo’s “natural increase” in population – the number of births minus the number of deaths – has been +5,957 people, a ratio of 1.4 births-to-1.0 deaths.  This ratio drops, with increasingly negative consequences, as population ages, and child-bearing-aged residents move out.  (In the 1980s, a ratio of 2.2-to-1.0 here and in our region was common.)

b.  In understanding our population out-migration, Caddoans must begin with Caddo Parish’s all-time population peak of 264,653 in 1986.  Since then, the combination of out-migration of Caddo residents, along with the dramatic absence of balancing in-migration of newcomers, has netted an alarming loss of population, now totaling -13,193, or -5.0%.  The U. S. population, 1986 through 2015, grew +34.0%.

c.  In these latest data, since April 1, 2010, the aforementioned +5,957 pick-up in population by our “natural increase,” is more than lost to net out-migration of -9,270 residents.  More specifically, Caddo has lost -10,377 residents who moved away to another place in Louisiana or another state, and has gained +1,107 who moved here from a foreign country.

In raw political terms, the continuing population drop is particularly worrisome given that those who move away are, it logically follows, the most mobile residents.  Such mobility is, in almost every place, marked by those who are younger and who have higher educational attainment.

Those demographic traits correlate more or less directly with taxpayers.  Thus, this continuing out-migration increases the pressure on remaining residents to pay local and other taxes.  In places such as Caddo Parish, where governments never down-size or otherwise cut taxes, the net effect of all of this is higher and higher costs of government for those who do not move away.

Elliott Stonecipher
(Elliott Stonecipher is in no way affiliated with any political party, and has long been a registered “Other,” or Independent.  He has no client or other relationships which in any way influence his selections of subjects or the content of any article.  His work is strictly in the public interest, with no compensation of any kind solicited or accepted.  Appropriate credit to Mr. Stonecipher in the sharing – unedited only, please – of his work is appreciated.)
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