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Census reveals a more diverse, urbanized America

The U.S. is older, more diverse, more urbanized and growing slower overall than in past decades, according to data from the 2020 Census released on Thursday.

Why it matters: The decennial Census provides a snapshot of the ever-changing demographics of the U.S. — and sets up the partisan fight over how states will redistribute electoral power for the next decade through redistricting.


The big picture: Almost all of the country's population growth occurred in large metro areas over the decade. For the first time, all 10 of the largest U.S. cities have more than 1 million people.

  • And rural areas shrunk as cities grew: More than half of U.S. counties saw their overall populations decline compared to 2010, Marc Perry, a senior demographer at the Census Bureau said during the press conference.

Also for the first time ever, there was an overall decline in the non-Hispanic white population.

  • The U.S. is more diverse overall than a decade ago. There was a 61.1% chance nationally that two people chosen at random were from different races or ethnicities.

What to watch: Some states have rapidly approaching redistricting deadlines, cut offs for candidate filings and primary dates. The delayed Census results will force expedited map-drawing — and any litigation that ensues.

  • Party officials, attorneys and experts will have an eye on states that are gaining or losing Congressional seats— like Texas, Florida, North Carolina, New York and Illinois. The new Census data provides a better sense of where extra seats might go in some states and which areas might lose representation in others.
  • The Census released the data in what is called the legacy format, which is a less-easily digestible. It could take days for some state redistricting officials to convert the data into maps. A more user-friendly version of the data will be released at the end of September.

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When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

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Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

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What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

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