A small N&O story this week heralds North Carolina's arrival as the 10th most populous state in the union, bumping New Jersey from the top ten.
That may not surprise North Carolina suburbanites who sometimes feel as if they live close to the last stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. A humming state economy, cheaper homes and lower local taxes lure thousands of Jerseyites each year. They're part of a broader influx. Last year, North Carolina grew by 184,000 people, roughly the size of Winston-Salem.
Population growth will help our bureaucrats get a bit more federal money for Medicare and other subsidies, but all those extra people require more schools and bring more cars to our traffic jams.
Of course, if you're a Puppet from the John Locke Foundation, all of this must be really confusing. Why on earth would anyone be coming here? The mean old Democrats have raised taxes so high that our quality of life is utterly miserable. And our business environment is so oppressive that .
Okay, so the Puppets got that wrong. Never fear, they'll soon be whining about evil bureaucrats who want to do horrible things like "zoning" and "planning" to handle the continuing pressure of our burgeoning population.
Puppets aside, it looks like the old North State is on the move.
Get used to it. By 2030, the Census Bureau expects North Carolina to pass Georgia, Michigan and Ohio with nearly 12.3 million people.