The New York Times recently posted a very interesting demographic outlook of all the states with an interactive map. You can view where people were born going all the way back to the year 1900 up to 2014. Below is a snapshot of Georgia.
Only 20 years ago Alabama was the leading state for transplants and now there are more Georgia residents born in New York than from Alabama. Native born Georgia residents still constitute the majority at 55%, but not by much.
Florida with 4%, New York 3%, and Alabama at 2% are the top three states. 11% of Georgians were born outside the country vs only 1% for most of our history over this time period.
Only 11% of people not born here come from other states in the South or 15% if you include Florida. Few people including most Floridians would include it as part of the South culturally, with the exception of North Florida and the panhandle, thought it is certainly southern geographically.
Other regions in the country along with New York born residents represent 18% of all Georgia residents. What is most striking while looking at the chart over a span of 114 years is the sharp influx in the last few decades. From 1900 until around 1970 you see very few people born outside any neighboring states. As this trend continues it will not be many more years before native Georgia born residents actually are less than a majority of the population.
You can view all states by clicking this link and simply select the state. When you compare Georgia to a few other states, here is how we stack up.
Georgia 55% , New York 63% Florida 36%, North Carolina 58%
The influx of so many newcomers supports the theory that Georgia is not quite as red of a state as it has been in previous years. 81% of the increase in population over the last decade is from minorities which tend to vote democrat. Georgia is certainly becoming a lot more purple. In the 2012 presidential election Romney won Georgia with only a 5.21% margin of victory or with only 204,636 more votes.
Considering there over 600,000 unregistered black people in Georgia along with a few hundred thousand Latinos and Asians also not registered, had even half of them voted in 2012 it would have likely been a very different outcome.
There has been a lot of talk about Texas turning purple and even blue by 2024 with a big campaign to register voters, but people forget that Georgia and our 16 electoral votes will likely turn purple then blue long before Texas. This would especially be true if a similar campaign as the one in Texas managed to register a few hundred thousand of potential minority voters and get them to the polls in elections. Georgia is expected to become a minority-majority state by 2020, along with Maryland and Nevada.
I am not trying to argue that all of these transplants born in other states all vote Democrat. There are certainly Republican and Democrats among the transplant cohort as well as among the native born population. However, when we look back at elections over the last 10 to 15 years, there appears to be a trend towards narrowing the gap. The Republicans are still winning statewide offices, but their total number of votes has not grown anywhere close to the growth rate of Democrat voters who make gains every four years and keep closing the gap. The margins continue to tighten which must be worrying to the state GOP.
In my personal opinion, I would love to see a day when all of America is purple and politicians can no longer assume they are safe once elected to a career spanning decades in D.C. or that a primary victory is as good as winning the election. Extreme gerrymandering and safe districts and safe states has ensured only extremes from both parties tend to get elected and then we wonder why nothing gets done and the current do-nothing congress has a 83% disapproval rate. In fact the 113th congress I believe is the least productive in the history of the congress. Passing new laws isn’t always a good thing, but at least erase some of the bad laws from previous years. Do Something besides pitch hissy fits in front of cameras like a group of spoiled brats.
One thing is nearly a given. Incumbents will come home and blame the other side for the inertia and beg for one more chance and the gullible lemmings (us voters) will fall for it hook, line, and sinker once again. #BatteredVoterSyndrome