Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 9, 2007
POLITICS: A Population Comparison

File this under "hard data": one of the issues that always comes up when Governors run for president is how big a job they really had. And while state population isn't the only variable, it's a useful shorthand. For example, when Howard Dean ran for president, I pointed out that Manhattan has individual police precincts that have a third of the population of Vermont. (I would argue that densely populated areas are also more challenging to govern than rural areas with more self-reliant populations - just look at the size of New York City's 37,000-man police force).

Anyway, with a former Mayor of New York City (Rudy Giuliani) and current and former governors of Massachusetts (Mitt Romney), Arkansas (Mike Huckabee), Wisconsin (Thommy Thompson), Virginia (Jim Gilmore), and New Mexico (Bill Richardson) among the at least semi-serious contenders for president (no, I don't take George Pataki seriously), I thought it would be useful just to lay out the populations of New York City, the 50 states, DC and a bunch of independent countries in the same general size range, just for comparison purposes:

California36,457,549
Texas23,507,783
New York19,306,183
Florida18,089,888
Illinois12,831,970
Pennsylvania12,440,621
Ohio11,478,006
Michigan10,095,643
Georgia9,363,941
Sweden9,016,596
Bolivia8,989,046
Somalia8,863,338
North Carolina8,856,505
New Jersey8,724,560
Haiti8,308,504
Austria8,192,880
NY CITY8,143,197
Virginia7,642,884
Switzerland7,523,934
Bulgaria7,385,367
Honduras7,326,496
Hong Kong6,940,432
El Salvador6,822,378
Paraguay6,506,464
Massachusetts6,437,193
Washington6,395,798
Laos6,368,481
Israel6,352,117
Indiana6,313,520
Arizona6,166,318
Tennessee6,038,803
Jordan5,906,760
Libya5,900,754
Missouri5,842,713
Maryland5,615,727
Nicaragua5,570,129
Wisconsin5,556,506
Denmark5,450,661
Slovakia5,439,448
Finland5,231,372
Minnesota5,167,101
Colorado4,753,377
Norway4,610,820
Alabama4,599,030
Bosnia4,498,976
Croatia4,494,749
Singapore4,492,150
South Carolina4,321,249
Louisiana4,287,768
Kentucky4,206,074
New Zealand4,076,140
Costa Rica4,075,261
Ireland4,062,235
Puerto Rico3,927,188
Lebanon3,874,050
Oregon3,700,758
Lithuania3,585,906
Albania3,581,655
Oklahoma3,579,212
Connecticut3,504,809
Uruguay3,431,932
Panama3,191,319
Iowa2,982,085
Mississippi2,910,540
Arkansas2,810,872
Kansas2,764,075
Utah2,550,063
Nevada2,495,529
New Mexico1,954,599
West Virginia1,818,470
Nebraska1,768,331
Idaho1,466,465
Maine1,321,574
New Hampshire1,314,895
Hawaii1,285,498
Rhode Island1,067,610
Montana944,632
Delaware853,476
South Dakota781,919
Alaska670,053
North Dakota635,867
Vermont623,908
District of Columbia581,530
Wyoming515,004

These are 2005 & 2006 population estimates; sources here, here, and here.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:30 AM | Politics 2008 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I know you're a Rudy guy and his fans think he has leadership written all over him, but I would recommend Wayne Barrett's two books on Rudy for the other side of the picture on Rudy's so-called accomplishments. Barrett's second book is quite critical of Rudy's 9/11 image, and halfway through the book I wonder if Rudy's fans want to know of his major shortcomings on this one issue.

Posted by: steve at March 9, 2007 9:14 AM

As my dad said when Clinton was elected: oh great, the governor of a more-backwards Fresno.

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at March 9, 2007 1:22 PM

"more difficult to govern" -- depends on what you mean by govern.

A state with rural, suburban and urban interests requires a far more diverse knowledge of problems and politics. I think someone who has been governor is more likely to be prepared for the the full mix than someone who has been limited to governing only a city.

Rural areas bring more than self-reliance. Residents there have demands, regardless of their needs. And the needs they do have, are vastly different.

I'm more likely to vote for Rudy than McCain or Romney. Just pointing out that your analysis is limited.

Posted by: stan at March 9, 2007 2:25 PM

Stan,

Good point. Population is one metric to look at, but hardly the only one. Each candidate brings their life experiences to the table. Some elections, lack of DC experience is a plus. Sometimes, security is more important than economic or social considerations. Often, it is about what differentiates the candidate from the incumbent.

Posted by: largebill at March 9, 2007 2:56 PM
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