To make more sense of this data, I developed a rudimentary index which ranks the states against each other in three different categories: population growth rate since 1970, population density as a ration of persons/nonfederal acres, and proportion of population under 25. States are ranked for each of the criteria according to their "propensity for friction," or the likelihood of a serious policy debate erupting regarding land use planning. Thus, a high number reflects a high propensity for friction (notes on methodology). A similar index was released earlier this year analyzing the "new economy preparedness" of the states by the Progressive Policy Institute.
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