Axios PM

An analog clock with only two symbols instead of twelve: the symbols read 'AM' and 'PM'.
August 12, 2021

Good afternoon. Today's PM — edited by Neal Rothschild — is 494 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨 Bulletin: In a surprise move as security deteriorates, the U.S. is sending 3,000 troops into Afghanistan in the next two days to help evacuate some diplomats from the embassy in Kabul.

  • The Pentagon said the Army and Marine forces will enter Afghanistan to assist at the Kabul airport with the partial embassy evacuation. The latest.

1 big thing: Census cements city supremacy

Photo collage of hands holding pens, a U.S. map and U.S. Census questions.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Almost all of the last decade's U.S. population growth was in big metro areas, we learned this afternoon in a 2020 census data dump.

  • For the first time, all 10 of the largest U.S. cities have more than 1 million people, Axios' Stef Kight writes.
  • Rural shrinkage: More than half of all counties saw population declines from 2010, with smaller counties more likely to lose.

What went up:

  • Diversity: There's a 61% chance that two Americans chosen at random are from different races or ethnicities.
  • The South and the Southwest saw some of the most explosive population growth.
  • Florida's The Villages, a 55+ master-planned community, was the fastest-growing metro area.

What went down:

  • America's white population declined for the first time since the census' inception. 57.8% of people were white — two points lower than estimates.
  • The Midwest and the Northeast saw some of the biggest losses.
  • Overall population growth was the slowest since the 1930s.

Election experts say the data is better news than Democrats expected — gains in cities, losses in rural areas and a bigger-than-expected drop in the white population.

  • "[T]his is a *much* more favorable Census count than minority advocacy groups/Dems had feared," tweets Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman.
  • "[I]t's a pretty decent set of data for Democrats in redistricting," the N.Y. Times' Nate Cohn tweets.

Go deeper: See the census releases.

2. America's diabetes crisis

Insulin vial and syringe
Photo: John Fredricks/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The coronavirus has exacted "an especially devastating impact on the millions of Americans with diabetes," Reuters reports from rural Ohio.

  • The CDC has cited research showing that upward of 40% of people "who died with COVID-19 also had diabetes."
  • Diabetes deaths last year rose 17% to more than 100,000.

Go deeper.

3. Catch up quick

Anita Dunn meets with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill last month. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  1. Anita Dunn, one of President Biden's closest advisers, will depart the White House today, but she'll remain a top confidant. She helped place women in senior roles throughout the West Wing. Go deeper.
  2. The Texas Senate approved new voting restrictions after a 15-hour Democratic filibuster. The standoff in the House continues. The latest.

4. MLB built it. 8,000 fans will come

An aerial view of Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa
Photo: Quinn Harris/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Dyersville, Iowa (pop. 4,543) will host tonight's Field of Dreams Game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox just steps away from the site of the 1989 film, Axios Sports' Jeff Tracy writes.

  • Construction began in 2019 for the planned (and later postponed) August 2020 game.
The outfield wall of the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa with a wooden scoreboard in the background
Photo: Reese Strickland/USA Today Sports via Reuters

To enter the field, players will walk through a removable section of outfield fence hidden in the corn — just like in the movie.

Go deeper.