“Minority districts drop after redistricting, despite population growth”

Reid Wilson for Plurbius News:

The number of state legislative districts where racial or ethnic minorities make up a majority or a near majority of the population dropped substantially after the latest round of redistricting, even as those minority groups accounted for virtually all of the population growth the nation experienced over the last decade.

An analysis of the demographics of thousands of state legislative districts redrawn in the wake of the 2020 Census conducted exclusively for Pluribus News finds there are 368 districts around the country where Black Americans make up a majority of the population, down from 390 Black-majority districts before new political boundaries were drawn.

The number of districts where Hispanics make up the majority of the population has risen from 249 under the old lines to 258 today. But the number of districts where Hispanics make up between 30% and 50% of the population — a share that would give those populations a strong chance of electing one of their own to state office — declined by 23 seats.

The analysis, conducted by Brian Amos, a political scientist at Wichita State University, examined 6,372 state legislative districts under map lines that were in effect for the 2020 elections and 6,467 districts drawn during the subsequent redistricting process across 49 states. The results do not include Montana, where legislators have yet to draw new state legislative district lines.

The number of districts before and after redistricting varies because of differences in the ways each state draws districts for upper and lower chambers.

The decline in minority-heavy districts is especially stark after the results of the 2020 Census showed minorities making up a much larger share of the American population than they did a decade ago. The U.S. population includes 62 million Hispanic residents, up from just over 50 million a decade ago. There are 41.1 million Black Americans in the United States, up from 38.9 million in 2010.

At the same time, the number of non-Hispanic White Americans — still the largest share of the population by far — fell over the decade, from 223 million in 2010 to 204 million in 2020.

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