Thursday, January 21, 2016

Our "empty" country

The Washington Post's Wonkblog published yesterday this piece on "the jaw-dropping emptiness of America." Christopher Ingraham presents a map depicting the 462 least populated counts in the country, none of which has a population density greater than 7.4 persons per square mile.  And in 65 counties the density is less than one person per square mile.  He then notes that all of the folks who live in these 462 counties add up to fewer than New York's Bronx and Queens Counties, a fact depicted in another map.  Worth a look.  Anyway, Ingraham closes with these lines:
Geographically speaking, we are a nation of mountains, forests and farmland surrounding tiny islands of urbanity. These maps help put some of that in perspective.
Fair enough, but as the U.S. Supreme Court has said regarding politics and representation, our members of congress represent people, not trees and cows.  Hence the interests of rural America remains quite underrepresented--at least in my opinion--in spite of the fact that states like Montana and Wyoming each have two U.S. Senators (and just one member of Congress).

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