Shifting Population Reflected In 2010 Census Figures

Shifting Population Reflected In 2010 Census Figures

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America’s population count passed 308 million people on April 1, 2010, the date the U.S. Census Bureau uses to determine the number of people living in the United States. Those numbers are profound and also reflect something else: Americans continue to shift from the colder states of the midwest and northeast to sunnier, warmer and more politically conservative states in the southwest and southeast.

Texas Boom

The populations of midwestern and northeastern states actually grew since the 2000 census, but at a much slower rate than what western and southern states realized. Texas grew by more than 4 million residents and now counts over 25 million Texans. California remains atop of the list with 37,253,956 residents while Wyoming continues as the least populace state with just 563,626 calling the Cowboy State home.

Only Michigan lost population in the last census and that will result in the Great Lakes State losing one seat in the House of Representatives. Ohio, despite registering a slight increase in population will lose two seats as will New York. Big gainers include Texas with four seats and Florida with two seats. Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Utah and Georgia each gained a seat while New Jersey, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania each lost one. Of note, most of the gainers voted for McCain in 2008 with losers siding with Obama.

50 States & D.C.

The U.S. Population numbers includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2000, the Census recorded 281,421,906 people, thus the latest numbers reflect a 9.6 percent increase. Puerto Rico and other American territories are not included in these numbers.

President Barack H. Obama will communicate the apportionment counts to the 112th Congress during the first week of its first regular session in January. The reapportioned Congress will be the 113th, which convenes in January 2013.

Gerrymandered Districts

Starting in February and finishing up by March 31, 2011, the Census Bureau will release demographic data to the states on a rolling basis so state governments can start the redistricting process. Likely, we’ll see some of the most significant redistricting we’ve seen in decades as Republican dominated state houses begin to gerrymander districts to their favor. Gerrymandering is a process where politicians reset their political districts to favor their own party — it is a legal, if not controversial way to redraw the lines dividing districts.

Constitutional Requirement

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution calls for a census of the nation’s population every 10 years to apportion the House seats among the states. The 2010 Census is the 23rd census in our nation’s history.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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