Births vs. deaths
The Census Bureau recently published county-by-county data on population changes from 2006 to 2007 (see previous post), giving us lots of opportunities for cartographical noodling. The two maps below (one a close-up of the Northeast) compare the number of births recorded by county last year with the number of deaths recorded in the same time period. Some of the larger counties at one extreme or the other are highlighted.
In most of the country, there were more than enough births to offset deaths, but there are large patches where the opposite is true. Some of the counties in this category are retiree magnets (Florida), but most are small, rural areas that are apparently not hospitable for young families for various reasons (no jobs? no affordable housing?). These counties are concentrated in the Great Plains states and the Appalachia region.