WASHINGTON -- With the release of Census 2010 reapportionment data, an analysis conducted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund shows that the growth in Latino numbers is fueling the population increase in states which will gain seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The analysis suggests that the percentage increase in the Latino population during the last decade contributed significantly to the overall growth of such states as Texas, Florida, Arizona and Nevada. SEE TABLE
"The growth of the Latino population is reshaping the political geography in states that are gaining Congressional seats. Even in states such as California, Illinois or New York, which are not gaining or are losing seats, the increase in Latino numbers has helped minimize congressional losses," said NALEO Educational Fund Executive Director Arturo Vargas.
The release of Census 2010 population data only determines the number of congressional seats for each state. The Census Bureau will be releasing the data that states will be using to draw district lines on a rolling basis during February 2011and March 2011.
"The 2011 redistricting will map the future of our representative democracy for the next ten years. Those who are responsible for drawing district lines must recognize the growth of the Latino population, and new maps must ensure that Latinos can choose their elected leaders. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) prohibits states from creating districts that may dilute and or divide the votes of Latinos and other under-represented groups. We call on all states to comply strictly with VRA requirements during the 2011 redistricting," added Mr. Vargas.
"While we will not know the actual size of the nation's Latino population until early next year, today's numbers suggest that Latinos across the United States placed a high priority on being counted in the 2010 Census and on being full participants in the American political process. It is now time to make sure that Latinos can embrace the opportunity to translate those Census numbers into full and fair representation."
About NALEO Educational Fund
The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading non-partisan, non-profit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
Additionally The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund had this to say:
The United States Census Bureau released its state-by-state total population results for the 2010 Census, and with them the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives under reapportionment for the 113th Congress, which convenes in January 2013.
The results show the U.S. population growth almost exclusively in the Western and Southern states, which led to Congressional gains in those states and losses in the Midwest and Northeast.
This growth corroborated the recently released 2009 ACS 1-year population estimates, which showed substantial growth of the Latino community in these same Western and Southern States since the 2000 Census.
"The Census will show that more than one in seven people in the United States is Latino. Today's data coupled with recently-released Census Bureau estimates demonstrate that the Latino population has significantly influenced how congressional seats are apportioned among the states. Further down the road, the nation can expect to see a minimum of nine additional Latino-majority House seats, provided that states comply with the federal Voting Rights Act in redistricting," said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel.
• ï The 2010 Census showed the nation grew 9.7% since 2000. Based on the Census Bureau’s 2009 ACS 1-Year Estimates, the Latino population grew 37% from 2000 to 2009, where the non-Latino White population grew less than 3%. Stated otherwise, Latinos made up 51% of the United States total population growth, compared to non-Latino White population contributing 21% of the U.S. total population growth.
• ï Based on the ACS data, in the following 16 states Latino population growth accounted for more than 60% of the state’s total population growth: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia. Latino population growth represents more than half the state’s population growth in 21 states.
• In the eight states that gained Congressional Districts under the 2010 Census, the 2009 ACS data show that, with the exception of Florida and Texas, the Latino population grew more than 55%. In Texas and Florida, the Latino population grew a respective 37.16% and 48.82%. These relatively lower percentages represent large figures, with the states growing by 2,478,390 and 1,309,582 Latinos respectively.
“These data show that Latinos brought seats to states gaining districts, and prevented many other states from losing districts. As a result, the upcoming redistricting should be respectful of the growing Latino political strength,” stated Nina Perales, MALDEF National Senior Counsel.
Other Notable Highlights:
• Texas gained 4 Congressional Seats, showing a 21% population growth. According to the ACS, the Latino population grew 37% while the non-Latino White population grew 6%. This also shows that Latinos made up 63% of Texas’s population growth.
• California for the first time since 1930 did not gain a Congressional Seat. California grew 10% since 2000. The ACS showed a 25% growth in the Latino community, and a 3% loss in non-Latino White population; The Latino community represented 88% of the total population growth.
• Arizona and Nevada each gained 1 congressional district, for total growth rates of 25% and 35%. Each state posted respective Latino population gains of 57% and 78% according to the ACS; which further represented 50% and 48% of each state’s population growth.
• Florida gained 2 congressional seats with its 18% in total population growth. Florida posted a 49% Latino population growth via the ACS.
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights and political access.