2010 census projections and redistricting – 2009 update

October 16, 2009

In 2007 and 2008, I posted on the State Data Center’s 2010 population projections and how population growth might affect the 2010 redistricting. Of interest to the legislative community is the North Carolina State Data Center population projections.  Most recently updated September 8, 2009, the County Population Growth 2000-2010 dataset gives some ideas about the next round of redistricting scheduled for the 2011 legislative session. The Program on Public Life  over at UNC-Chapel Hill has just released an electoral analysis based on those projections in its October 2009 data-net (see pages 5-8) .  Based on the analysis, Wake is likely to gain two House seats and one Senate seat, and Mecklenburg is likely to gain one or two House seats. I say one or two seats for Mecklenburg because of an unexpected overlap in the mathematical formulas spelled out by the North Carolina Supreme Court earlier this decade. More below. Remember of course, all 2010 numbers are just projections.

Growth in an urbanizing pattern

The 2010 estimates show a total estimated population growth for the decade of 19.0%, up from last year’s projections of 18.1%. Since the number of House and Senate seats is fixed at 120 and 50 respectively, counties that grow faster than the state average gain representation, while those with less lose representation.  Just 23 of the 100 counties are projected to grow at a rate higher than the State average. Counties growing at a higher average are mostly around the Triangle, Charlotte area, and the coast. Twelve counties are projected to lose population, see the map below.

The 23 counties that are estimated to grow at a higher rate than the State average are:

Brunswick (51%), Cabarrus (40%), Camden (44%), Chatham (30%), Clay (23%), Currituck (27%),  Davie (22%), Durham 23%, Franklin (27%), Harnett (28%), Henderson (20%), Hoke (39%), Iredell (33%), Johnston (43%), Lee (22%), Lincoln (23%), Mecklenburg (31%), New Hanover (23%), Onslow (21%), Pender (34%),  Pitt (22%),  Union (70%), and Wake (49%).  

Net increase in House seats

The six counties with the biggest projected net increase in House seats are: Wake 2.37, Mecklenburg 1.05, Union 0.79, Johnston 0.3, Cabarrus 0.35 and Brunswick 0.29.  Senate gains would be in the same proportion. Remember of course, all 2010 numbers are just projections.

The Stephenson cases 

The North Carolina Supreme Court in its 2002 Stephenson I  opinion and 2003 Stephenson II opinion said that all districts must be within plus or minus 5% of population equality, and absent Voting Rights Act consideration, any county entitled to a whole number of seats (within the 5% tolerance) will have all those districts as subsets within that county. This is often referred to as  a “single-county cluster”, and simplifies the beginning part of redistricting.  The Supreme Court forumla did not forsee that the growing urbanization of the State will push Mecklenburg and Wake Counties to more than 10 seats, a point at which the number of seats that satisfy the whole county provision can begin to overlap.  Current projections show Mecklenburg entitled to 11.42 House seats in 2010. The court formula for 11 seats is +/- 5% from 11, which is 10.45 to 11.55. The court formula for 12 seats is +/- 5% from 12, which is 11.40 to 12.60.  The projected 11.42 falls within the range for either 11 or 12 seats. If this happens, will the General Assembly have total discretion which number to use? Perhaps more likely the number that best satisfies the Voting Rights Act on a statewide basis might be the best one to use.

Single county clusters in 2000 and 2010

In 2000 there were three single-county clusters in the Senate: Wake 4, Forsyth 2, and New Hanover 1.   In 2000 there were ten single-county clusters in the House: Alamance 2, Buncombe 3, Cabarrus 2, Guilford 6, Lincoln 1, Mecklenburg 10, Randolph 2, Rowan 2, Wake 9, Wilkes 1.  Pitt would have been a 2 seat single-county cluster except for division on account of the Voting Rights Act.  

For 2010, projections show five single-county Senate clusters, Mecklenburg and Wake each with 5 seats, and Cabarrus, Onslow and New Hanover each with 1 seat. In the House projected single-county clusters are: Alamance 2, Buncombe 3, Caldwell 1, Catawba 2, Cumberland 4, Davidson 2, Guilford 6, Iredell 2, Lincoln 1, Mecklenburg 11 or 12, and Wake 12. Pitt would still be a 2-seat single county cluster were it not for the Voting Rights Act. Wilson would be a 1-seat single county cluster  Remember of course, all 2010 numbers are just projections.

Urbanization

A look at clusters of counties around the Triangle, Triad, and Charlotte area show the following changes in House seats for a region. (Senate changes would be proportional)

Triad: Alamance, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, and Rockingham.  Drops from 18.31 in 2000 to  a projected 17.46 seats for 2010. (-0.85).

Triangle: Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Orange, Johnston, and Wake. Increases from 17.67 to 20.58 seats. (+2.91). Interestingly from 1973 through 1982, these six counties had 13 seats. This is a 59% increase in representation for these six counties in 40 years.

Charlotte area: Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, and Union. Increases from 19.79 to 22.06 seats. (+2.27).

Population Trends Map

I’ve posted an image of a population trend map- below, an online .pdf file of the map is here . Population changes are shown in two colors, the counties that have grown faster than the State average (shown in orange) and counties that are projected to have a decline in population (shown in green – the lighter color on a black and white printer)

NorthCarolinaPopulationtrends2009

 

(thanks to Raleigh Myers for assistance with the map)


NC State House redistricting plan maps and stats online

May 8, 2009

House Bill 1621 changes House Districts 16 and 18.

A full set of maps and statistics can be found here.

A closeup map of revised House District 18 in New Hanover County can be found here.


US Supremes hear NC redistricting case

November 17, 2008

As previously posted, the United States Supreme Court on October 14 heard North Carolina’s appeal from a North Carolina State Supreme Court case holding that a 2003 State House of Representatives redistricting plan violated the North Carolina State Constitution in District 18 in Pender and New Hanover Counties.

The North Carolina Supreme Court had ordered the district redrawn in 2009 to apply to the 2010 election, but that action was stayed pending the appeal.

There appear to be three possible outcomes of the US Supreme Court decision:

1) The decision is affirmed, and the 2009 regular session must act. Unknown, however, is whether the basis of the Supreme Court decision will apply to other State House and Senate Senate Districts, and if so whether they must be redrawn for 2010 or whether the case will provide guidance for the 2011 redistricting but only New Hanover and Pender will be affected in 2009.

2) The decision is reversed.  The greatest likelihood here is that the decision will require no further action by the 2009 Regular Session.

3) This case is remanded (suggested by Justice Ginsburg, see page 23 of the oral argument transcript) for further action by the North Carolina Supreme Court based on whatever guidance it provides in the remand, which might or might not mean any action in 2009!

Another kicker in all of this is the timing of the US Supreme Court decision — it could ne handed down any time before the court session adjourns in June of 2009.

The New York Times had a good write-up of the oral arguments. The Times that while previous cases appeared to set an 50% black population threshold and House District 18 was 29% black,

“Justice Stephen G. Breyer proposed yet another number, one tied to the amount of crossover voting from whites needed to elect the minority group’s preferred candidate. ‘There’s a kind of natural stopping place,’ he said. ‘When I worked out the numbers, it seemed that natural stopping place fell around 42-43 percent.’ ” 

 


US Supremes to hear NC redistricting case October 14

August 6, 2008

The United States Supreme Court will hold oral arguments Tuesday, October 14, 2008 on an appeal from a North Carolina Supreme Court decision that the North Carolina State House of Representative redistricting plan adopted November 25, 2003 violates both the North Carolina Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (text of State Supreme Court decision here) .  The United States Supreme Court had agreed on March 17, 2008 agreed to hear the appeal of the State of North Carolina.

While the state court decision would require the 2009 General Assembly to redraw two or three house districts in New Hanover and Pender Counties, the case could also have ramifications for the entire state house plan and for similar issues in other states. In addition to the brief of the State, seven amicus (friend of the court) briefs have also been filed before the US Supreme Court.


2010 Census projections and Redistricting – update

August 5, 2008

In August of 2007, I posted on the State Data Center’s 2010 population projections and how population growth might affect the 2010 redistricting. The North Carolina State Data Center has lots of numbers. Of interest to the legislative community is their population projections.  Most recently updated June 18, 2008, the Population Growth 2000-2010 dataset gives some ideas about the next round of redistricting scheduled for the 2011 session.  Based on the analysis below, Wake and Mecklenburg Counties are each likely to gain two House seats, and Wake a Senate seat. Remember of course, all 2010 numbers are just projections.

Growth in an urbanizing pattern

The 2010 estimates show a total estimated population growth for the decade of 18.1%, up from last year’s projections of 17.4%. Since the number of House and Senate seats is fixed at 120 and 50 respectively, counties that grow faster than the state average gain representation, while those with less lose representation.  Just 25 of the 100 counties are projected to grow at a rate higher than the State average. Counties growing at a higher average are mostly around the Triangle, Charlotte area, and the coast.

The 25 counties that are estimated to grow at a higher rate than the State average are:

Brunswick (52%), Cabarrus (37%), Camden (53%), Chatham (27%), Clay (25%), Currituck (41%),  Davie (23%), Durham 20%, Franklin (26%), Gates (19%), Granville 19%, Harnett (23%), Henderson (21%), Hoke (40%), Iredell (32%), Johnston (41%), Lee (21%), Lincoln (21%), Mecklenburg (35%), New Hanover (26%), Pasquotank (24%), Pitt 20%, Pender (33%), Union (68%), and Wake (47%). 

Read the rest of this entry »


Never too soon to think about 2010 redistricting

March 7, 2008

The Census Bureau has just pushed out its 2010 Redistricting Data website for those getting prepared.

Here’s the stuff in case you are wanting to keep up. Lots of technical details.

2010 Census Program Phases

2010 Census Redistricting Data Program – P.L. 94 – 171:

Federal Register Notice announcing the 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program [PDF]

Phase 1 – State Legislative District Project (SLDP) – 2004-2006

Collection of State Legislative District (SLD) boundaries. This will be the first effort post-Census 2000 to update SLD boundaries. This phase includes a verification stage as well as data tabulation for legislative districts based on Census 2000 data. Ongoing changes to Congressional boundaries will be collected and new tabulations developed as needed.

Federal Register Notice announcing Phase 1 [PDF]

Guidelines for Phase 1 [PDF]

State Legislative District Data collected during Phase 1

Phase 2 – Voting District/Block Boundary Suggestion Project (VTD/BBSP) – 2007-2009

Collection of Voting District boundaries and updates to legislative districts. States will submit block boundary suggestions for inclusion in the 2010 Census block tabulations during this phase of the Redistricting Data Program as well. A verification phase is included for all components (VTD/SLD/Congressional) of this phase.

Federal Register Notice announcing Phase 2 [PDF]

Phase 2 Guidelines:New Icon.gif

Phase 2 General Guidelines for all Participants [PDF]

MAF/TIGER Partnership Software (MTPS) Instructions [PDF]

Partner GIS Submission Instructions (Non-MTPS) [PDF]

Supplemental Information for Digital Updates – Business Rules

Relationship Information Review [PDF]

Questions regarding the Phase 2 Guidelines and MTPS should be directed to the Redistricting Data Office at (301) 763-4039.

Phase 3 – Data Delivery for the 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program – 2010-2011

Delivery of the geographic products and data products to the official designated liaisons. Geographic products will precede the P.L. 94-171 data tabulations that are mandated by law for delivery no later than April 1, 2011, one year following Census Day.

Phase 4 – Collection of the Post-2010 Census Redistricting Plans – 2012-2013

Collection of State Legislative District and Congressional plans drawn using the Phase 3 materials. Production of both geographic and data products required for delivery to the USPS/DOJ. Production of materials for Congress and Congressional District data summaries/maps during this time.

Phase 5 – Evaluation and Recommendation for Census 2020 – 2012-2014

Historical review by the states of the successes and failures of the Census Bureau to meet the Public Law 94-171 requirements. Production of final report with the view of the states expressed for the program in Census 2020.

Phases of the 2000 Census Redistricting Data Program – P.L. 94-171


Redistricting case text

August 25, 2007

The North Carolina Supreme Court released its opinion August 24, 2007 in the redistricting case of Pender County v Bartlett. Copies of the opinion are available here attached as a .pdf file, or as a text file. The full Supreme Court docket sheet on the case is also available.


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