Population: Here Comes California

Here Comes California

With the nation's big cities ridden by crime, smog and traffic snarls, Americans must be fleeing to the serenity of the countryside, right? Wrong. Preliminary statistics from the 1990 census indicate that over the past decade the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s was reversed. Rural areas may have lost as many as 1.4 million people, far more than demographers had predicted. By contrast, metropolitan areas along the California and Florida coasts have grown sharply.

The trend has pushed California to a population of 29,279,000, a 23.7% jump that will apparently entitle it to seven new seats when Congress is reapportioned. Florida,...

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