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Oh yeah.

And Do Tons of Fun Stuff Along the Way

Living in Hong Kong, it seems like everybody around us had been to Taiwan. So we decided, with a long weekend in October, to finally cross the straits and see what all the buzz was about!

Day 1: Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

We arrived at the Taoyuan airport (Taiwan’s main airport near Taipei) around 4 PM. Getting through security was a breeze, although getting through the physical infrastructure of the airport was a bit of a squeeze:

The metro picks up directly at the airport, so we took the train into Taipei.

Trip Tip 1: There are two trains from the airport into Taipei: a commuter train and an express train. Be careful which one you get on. The express train takes under 40 minutes, while the commuter train takes much longer. But either way, the thing to understand is that the Taoyuan airport is a substantial distance away from, well, anything. …

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Yes, our headline photo for India is a food photo, because of course it is. India’s food is the bomb.

It Takes Planning and Flexibility, But, Really, You Don’t Need to be Daunted by India

The title on this one may seem weird. You may have read some of our previous travel blogs like, “You Can Roadtrip Across Peru” or “You Can Do An Unforgettable 67 Hours in Viet Nam.” What’s the deal about SIM cards????

Well, anyone who’s ever planned a trip to India knows what the deal is about SIM cards. Let’s say you’re headed to India, and you want to book a train ticket. You will need to make an account on the IRCTC website to book tickets normally. To do that, you, supposedly, need an Indian SIM card. …

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And It Will Be Worth Every Penny

Recently, we had a free weekend, and also needed to re-up our visa in Hong Kong as we await our longer term visa being approved. So we looked around online for places with cheap flights. There were a number of options, but many took us to places where there would be active monsoons. But finally, we found some good tickets to Ha Noi from Hong Kong.

So we started planning a weekend in Viet Nam.

Day 1: The Departure

We set off for Ha Noi on a 2 hour flight on Jetstar. The seats were tight and uncomfortable… but they were cheap! We had considered changing money for VND in Hong Kong, but the exchange rate was going to have us lose almost 8% of the value of the money exchanged, so we gambled on waiting until Viet Nam. This was the right choice. As soon as you leave security in Viet Nam, you’ll find exchange offices where they will change your money with just a 1% loss rate. …

And Other Interesting Stories From the New Population Estimates

The Census Bureau just released its new population estimates. They’ll be in the news. You’ll hear about the fastest and slowest growing places. That’s cool beans.

Let’s talk nerd. What revisions did Census make? Let’s start nationally.

Here’s Census’ revisions to national population each year versus the previous year, expressed as a percent of the previous vintage’s estimate.

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As you can see, Census’ revisions this censal period are of a similar magnitude as the last one. And in 2018, they mad some pretty big cuts! They reduced estimated 2017 population by 0.18%! That’s 570,000 people they just poof’d out of existence! All told, Census lowered person-years between 2010 and 2017 by about 1.8 million. …

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A Long-Delayed Account of our Quick Trip to Copenhagen and Germany

Back in the spring, we had a chance to visit Lyman’s brother Zach and his wife Liz in Europe. Lyman had work travel to Bremen, Germany at a similar time as they had some flexibility, so we found train tickets to get him from Bremen to Copenhagen, found Ruth some cheap airfares, and made a trip of it! It was cold, it was wet: it was a ton of fun.

Day 0/1: Getting to Copenhagen

Logistics were tricky for this whole trip. Because Lyman was traveling for work, he had to fly in and out of Bremen, Germany, even though the main trip was planned for Copenhagen to meet Zach and Liz. …

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Volcanic mountains at the edge of a major hurricane basin. What could go wrong? Photo by Mandy Beerley on Unsplash

Hawaii Dodged a Bullet in Lane, Florence was Bad for the Carolinas, and Now We’ll See What Happens With Michael

UPDATE: I wrote this post after Lane, before Florence. I am now updating it during Michael with an estimate for Florida, immediately below:

You can read the full post below. But for now, here’s my forecast of Florida’s population out to 2070, if Michael hadn’t hit, and now knowing that it did, and about where and how strong. The size of the “hurricane shock” is calibrated based on windspeeds at the county level, and the population share of Florida in the impacted counties.

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I’m always here for inspirational header photos. Photo by Steven Lewis on Unsplash.

Grading the Forecast Is Fun!

It’s been a while since I blogged! I’ve been doing lots of writing elsewhere, so the blog has taken a backseat!

But I wanted to take a second to check in on a few cities I’ve written about recent and see how recent population estimates impacted them. Basically, I want to assess how my takes have held up over time. I’ll score on the following basis:

  1. Did any numeric claims or expectations continue to remain essentially true?
  2. Did any new data fall within any forecast ranges provided?
  3. Does the essential core claim being made in the original post still hold with new data? …

A Brief Spin Through the New Age Estimates

Census released new age and year-specific estimates of the national population today. So let me walk you through them.

Census made minute revisions to the historic age composition of the population. Even in 2016, the year with the largest revisions, the average age of the American resident population was only revised by about 12 hours. That is to say, the average age was revised down by 0.001357 years.

The time trend for the new revisions shows that we continue to age as a nation, however.

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Each year, the average age rises by about 65 to 70 days. …

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Statistics show that 73% of Mainers live in lighthouses and the other 27% live in reclaimed bear dens. Photo by Karl Magnuson on Unsplash

It Mattered, Once

Today I want to talk about Maine. I’ve never been to Maine. I’ve only ever really known about 3 people from Maine. Before I did the research for this post, my view of Maine was basically as where people from Boston go for a long weekend. In other words, I am not a specialist on Maine.

But when looking for research topics recently, several people encouraged me to look at Maine. So look I shall!

Let’s start with our usual basic question: how many people live in Maine?

Whenever the Census Bureau releases new estimates of population, media outlets pounce on estimates of the fastest and slowest growing places in the nation. It’s an interesting angle, but not the one that interests me most. The reality is that these first-estimates have large errors in them due to incomplete statistics and preliminary inputs. It’s only after several years that the estimates stabilize, and, even then, once we get a new Census, intercensal revisions are very large.

As I showed in a previous post when we got Vintage 2017 state data, Census made large changes to the migration component which resulted in a larger estimate of the foreign-born population. …


Lyman Stone

Global cotton economist. Migration blogger. Proud Kentuckian. Advisor at Demographic Intelligence. Senior Contributor at The Federalist.

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