U.S. Census Bureau released early this month (obtainable in PDF form by clicking the link in the last paragraph of the news story linked below) and earlier Census Bureau data found in the 2004-2005 edition of the Statistical Abstract (see the second link below) suggest that, from July 1, 2003 to July 1, 2013, as in previous 10-year periods, Right to Work states’ population-growth advantage over forced-unionism states was widest among children aged 17 and under.
In fact, the 26 states that lacked Right to Work laws throughout this period actually saw their “under 18” population decline from 39.917 million to 38.721 million from 2o03 to 2013. That amounts to a 3.0% decrease. Seventeen of the 26 forced-unionism states had fewer children residing in them in 2013 than 10 years earlier. (Indiana and Michigan, which became Right to Work states in 2012 and 2013, respectively, are excluded.)
Meanwhile, the 22 states that had Right to Work laws throughout the last decade saw their aggregate “under 18” population increase by 2.04 million, or 7.1%. Among these 22 states, only Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi had fewer children in 2013 than a decade before.
The 10.1 percentage point Right to Work advantage in “under 18” population growth is substantially greater than Right to Work states’ aggregate 8.2 percentage point advantage in “18 and over” population growth.
And international immigration trends can’t account for the discrepancy. In fact, forced-unionism states like California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey saw their total juvenile populations decline despite taking in large numbers of immigrant young adults and children.
Whatever other advantages Right to Work states have over forced-unionism states, Census data clearly indicate that vast numbers of parents and prospective parents regard them as places where they can provide better lives for their children.