December 21, 2012

RI Only State Losing Population Two Years in a Row

Justin Katz

Since the U.S. Census department released its latest state-by-state population estimates, it has been widely reported that Rhode Island was one of only two states to lose population from 2011 to 2012. The other was Vermont.

However, as with the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s findings in September, looking more deeply reveals that the headlines actually understate Rhode Island’s poor position.

In total, Rhode Island lost 354 people, or 0.03% of the 1,050,646 estimated to have lived here in 2011. As bad as that is, it looks preferable to the 581 whom Vermont lost, which was 0.09% of that state’s population. Two considerations smudge that silver lining.

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I don't mean this as racism, but this from the Journal: "In 1970, Rhode Island's white population peaked at 946,725, according to the Census. By 2010, it had dropped to 856,869, a loss of nearly 10 percent."

As I said, not racism. But, we know who the high earners are. I am accepting these figures for now, but I always understood it was higher. Without the high earners to drive the economy, there will be no "production work" for recent immigrants.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 21, 2012 3:06 PM

According to the Progressive Handbook, Chapter 7 - Blanket Denial of Reality, Rhode Island's high population density renders all trends, rankings, and statistics between the states meaningfuless.*

* Unless it's one of the few obscure rankings that ranks Rhode Island highly according to 100% subjective criteria, such as "quality of life." Those reports are gospel proof that progressive policies are working and as such deserve front-page features on RIFuture.

Posted by: Dan at December 21, 2012 3:52 PM

Why do you folks stay in Rhode Island??

Not just taxes, just about everything is cheaper in Arizona,including food, booze, cigarettes, gasoline is at $3.05 a gallon, no property taxes on cars and trucks, no sales taxes if you buy a car or truck from a private party. houses are 60% of RI's prices as are property taxes on homes.

No waiting period to buy a hand gun. Weekly gun shows were anyone, of any age (above 9 years old) can buy as many guns as they want with NO criminal background check. Unemployment is at 7.7%

One word of caution: The most dangerous place in Arizona is between Joe Arpaio and a Tee Vee Camera
Sammy in warm and sunny AZ

Posted by: Sammy in Arizona at December 21, 2012 4:36 PM

I like a less populated state. Thanks for the good news. Maybe tommy cranston will leave. Even better. Warrington- your post is not racist- just uninformed. I think your age has something to do with it. No teaching an old dog new tricks.

Posted by: DavidS at December 21, 2012 6:05 PM

DavidS "I think your age has something to do with it. No teaching an old dog new tricks."

And what generational factors am I overlooking?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 21, 2012 7:30 PM

Sammy: "Why do you folks stay in Rhode Island??"

Probably much to do with Newton's First Law of Motion, objects at rest remain at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 21, 2012 7:36 PM

"objects at rest remain at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."

... the unbalanced force in this case being Rhode Island's utterly Democrat legislature. That's why RI is the only state to lose population two years in a row - the unbalanced force is compelling taxpayers to leave with the very poor policy that has been implemented over the decades.

Posted by: Monique at December 21, 2012 9:56 PM

"I like a less populated state. Thanks for the good news." out what you wish may just get it. Your productive class will be replaced with the taker class. Soon all that will be left will be govt. employees whose salaries are paid for by......NOT the takers.

Posted by: ANTHONY at December 22, 2012 12:55 AM

No, David, thank you for the clarifying comment. People aren't leaving just because. They're leaving because they're finding Rhode Island to be a place bereft of hope that only makes them suffer.

I suppose folks on the public-sector payroll and on the hand-out list think their deals are somehow etched into the stone, here. You'll see. Not even a corrupt government can stop the suffering from reaching you eventually.

Posted by: Justin Katz at December 22, 2012 8:13 AM

I've been listening to NPR again, here are a few factoids thrown out the other day. Nationally, we now have more people receiving disability payments than are employed in the manufacturing sector of our economy. 60% of new applications are for mental disability. Make of this what you will, but I feel a little bi-polarism coming on.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 22, 2012 9:31 AM

Justin. I call Rhode Island my home. I may move on but it would not be for any of your reasons. I grew up here. I liked it. I like it now. And I do that for no discernible economic reason. I remember when driving south to the beaches in winter was an unhurried pleasurable mind clearing day with all the religious significance anyone could hope for. What you find here that so rankles you- you will find anywhere. Where ever people are it seems. Rhode Island really is no different from other places. You are just imagining greener pastures. So back to your post. I like the fact that RI is losing population. The opportunists may not be all that they claim they are. The bedrock of the state may surprise you.

Posted by: David S at December 22, 2012 5:06 PM


I've been really busy in the last few day supplying resturants and shellfish dealers before the winter holidays and that will continue next week. In the last two weeks I have encountered two seperate groups of duck hunters from Pa. and NY at the boat ramp that I use. The groups of men were staying at Newport lodgings and driving across the bridges every day to get in a morninmg of hunting. Who knew? These camo wearing hunters from Pa. told me this was the second straight year that they had journeyed here in their large pickup with boat in tow and were planning to return next year. The NY group were having a good time and told me how friendly they had found the residents. Focus on the positive and let the number worriers squint at their screens and predict endtimes or all the other things their capitalistic overlords demand they say and write. Merry Christmas, Solstice, and all other winter holidays.

Posted by: Phil at December 22, 2012 5:28 PM

David - If you think there are no differences between the states, then you obviously haven't lived anywhere else. I spent the first two and a half decades of my life in Rhode Island. I've since lived in three other states and Rhode Island had, by far, the worst political climate and the fewest career opportunities. When I applied for a position in the Attorney General's Office, the interviewer solicited a campaign contribution from me. Life is very different where I live. Do you know what it's like to be able to wake up in the morning and not have your newspaper filled with stories about waste, benefits fraud, municipal bankruptcies, political scandals, EDC loan defaults, and union battles? None of that is normal, although Rhode Islanders may have lost their ability to tell the difference.

Posted by: Dan at December 22, 2012 5:30 PM

So Dan, you are saying that human nature is different in Va?

Posted by: David S at December 22, 2012 5:47 PM

Duck hunters Phil? That's like going to visit the grand children. You can always go home.

David S.
First the left called conservatives liars when they said people and money were leaving the state. Now it's: So what if they are.

"I may move on but it would not be for any of your reasons." You're such a fraud. That's like a school yard line.

Posted by: Max D at December 22, 2012 6:52 PM

There are different institutions and laws. A different history, culture, and value system. Different incentives. Different types of people. All I know is when I pick up the paper each morning, the state doesn't appear to be in a constant state of crisis or on the verge of economic collapse with warring factions battling it out for the scraps. Unions are a non-issue. I can't remember the last time a politician went to prison here.

Posted by: Dan at December 22, 2012 8:40 PM

"First the left called conservatives liars when they said people and money were leaving the state. Now it's: So what if they are."


Further, has anyone identified who will pay for all of the spending that RI Democrats are so fond of if the people who supply that money leave?

Posted by: Monique at December 23, 2012 8:59 AM

Virginia was among the worst performers in the country in a just-released study of government transparency and accountability that measured the risk for corruption.

The State Integrity Investigation is a first-of-its-kind, data-driven assessment of transparency, accountability and anti-corruption mechanisms in all 50 states, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Virginia ranked 47th out of 50 states and was among eight that received a failing grade.

That's from Jennifer Williams at Daily Press. And there is this from Laura LaFay writing for The Center of Public Integrity;

The Old Dominion is one of nine states with no statewide ethics commission, one of four states with no campaign finance limits and one of only two states (South Carolina is the other) where the part-time legislators handpick the judges before whom many of them practice law.

Posted by: Phil at December 23, 2012 9:41 AM

Re: Virginia, and other states. The possibility of corruption is not the same as a "culture of corruption". The latter is what Rhode Island has. Why else the state motto "everything falls off the truck in Rhode Island"? I don't know of any state where the appoinment of judges is not "political". States where they are elected don't seem noticeably better.

I assume that Dan lives in that portion (Northern) of Virginia that is po

pulated by "government people" as opposed to Virginians. There is a growing separation.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 23, 2012 11:07 AM

Phil - That "report" and its grades are meaningless, and so are "state-wide ethics commissions." Rhode Island has a state-wide ethics commission - it's laughable lip service and makes no impact whatsoever when the institutions themselves are rotten. Speaker Gordon Fox received the largest ethics fine in state history; what impact did that have? None whatsoever. The GSA had a great ethics program on paper during their Las Vegas spending spree and bogus awards ceremonies. Similarly, British Petroleum had an excellent safety program on paper from Texas City through Deepwater Horizon. If the culture doesn't value good government and there is no meaningful push for it, these nice-sounding safeguards don't make a bit of difference. Tell the next person you meet on the street that Rhode Island has a great ethics program and prepared to be laughed into oblivion. Where I live, most people would probably agree that the state is ethically-run.

Warrington - What you say is true, but small-government Republicans control the Virginia legislature and do a damn good job of attracting business to the state. A lot of the Feds in Northern Virginia are actually conservative - many are military or work for the intelligence community or homeland security. The hardcore progressives live in DC and walk to work at HUD, EPA, or DOE.

Posted by: Dan at December 23, 2012 11:53 AM


" The hardcore progressives live in DC and walk to work at HUD, EPA, or DOE."

I hope they walk out New York Avenue.

All of my relatives in Virginia seem genreally satisfied. Those in, or near, Richmond express concerns about "crime".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 23, 2012 12:30 PM

Richmond is a fine place to visit, but I wouldn't live there. It's a very schizophrenic city - suffers from multiple personalities disorder. You'll be walking through an affluent neighborhood one moment, then you're in the ghetto/slums, then you're on a college campus, then antique shops, then you're walking through skyscrapers downtown - like four or five cities spliced together. The Confederacy Museum, White House, and Cemetery in Richmond are phenomenal, even though they built a hospital around them. Better than Monticello, Mount Vernon, and most of the Smithsonians in my opinion.

Posted by: Dan at December 23, 2012 3:22 PM

Yes, it is well to live in "the Fan", or much further out of town. Most whites have chosen the "much further out". About 5 new towns have sprung up in the last 25 years. Virginia has an interesting system, when a city becomes as large as the county, the county is absorbed and disappears.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 23, 2012 4:11 PM

Best news?
After 2020 RI will NEVER send 2 Democrats to the House again.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at December 26, 2012 1:33 PM

Hi all,

I am currently living in the relatively good part of Richmond, VA, although I am presently visiting RI over the Christmas break. I do not regret my decision to leave RI in the least. The longer I've stayed, the easier it as been to adjust. That being said, I am considering moving closer to DC, like Arlington or Alexandria at some point in the near future. For right now, I'm enjoying Richmond.

Whoever called Richmond "schizophrenic" got it quite right. However, as long as you know which part of it to inhabit and what time of day to inhabit it, you really won't have any problems. Generally if you don't visit a ghetto at 3AM, there's a pretty good likelihood that you won't be killed, etc. So far, I haven't visited any and don't exactly plan to. Other than there being a lot more panhandlers on street corners than I'd generally prefer, I can't really say much bad about the place.

Generally speaking, Richmond is a lot like Providence. Good parts, bad parts, plenty of historic architecture, and good food (although the Italian food could be a bit better.... no Olive Garden is not Italian!).

Posted by: Will at December 26, 2012 3:56 PM

Moving to Richmond occasionally comes to mind. Recently I contacted one of the boat clubs to see if there would be room to keep my single. I was overwhelmed with positive responses and invitations to visit. At an unnamed RI boat club I was asked to move my car, that day it was the '64 Plymouth convertible with a big block and 2.5" exhaust pipes. I suppose I should have driven the Volvo.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 26, 2012 11:07 PM

If we could sell our homes at a fair price, more of us would leave.

Posted by: steve at January 2, 2013 12:19 PM

If we could sell our homes at a fair price, more of us would leave.

Posted by: steve at January 2, 2013 12:19 PM

Visit a few other will see that RI is by far one of the most unkept states in the Country. It's roads and infrastructure are a horror show, It's totally run by unions. Sorry but the future of RI is bleak. When I sell my property...I'm out!

Posted by: dontblikeri at February 4, 2013 4:11 PM
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