Every decade, the U.S. Department of Commerce conducts the U.S. Census. Mandated by the Constitution, the U.S. Census calculates the number of residents in areas of the U.S. and categorizes them by his or her age, race, ethnicity and household income. Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the 2020 Census, highlighting major changes in demographics, apportionment, redistricting and urbanization.
Since the 2010 Census, the U.S. metro population grew by 9%; 86% of the total population lives in urban areas. The state of Florida saw the fastest-growing U.S. metro area between 2010 and 2020 in The Villages, FL; the city grew by 39%. Despite the evident growth in U.S. metro centers, 52% of counties saw their populations decrease at the local level.
The U.S. Census results highlight recent demographic changes and trends at both the national and local level. With each decade that the federal government conducts the census, Hispanics and Latin Americans alike question their proper racial and ethnic identification.
Senior advisor for Race and Ethnicity Research at the Census Bureau Nicholas Jones highlighted recent improvements to the 2020 Census in creating two separate questions on Hispanic origin and race. The recent changes revealed the true extent of multiracial diversity in the United States.
Miami-Dade County’s contribution to the 2020 Census revealed that 71.51% of the population identifies as Hispanic/Latino. At an even more localized level, the 2020 Census results in the Village of Pinecrest reveal that only 45.5% of the population identify as Hispanic/Latino. These discrepancies at the national, regional and local level define the reapportionment and redistricting process after every U.S. Census.
One of the main purposes of the U.S. Census involves the reapportionment of 435 House of Representative seats between states. After the 2020 Census, several states gained and lost seats in the House because of shifting populations from the northern states to southern states. For example, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan each lost one seat, while Florida, North Carolina and Colorado gained one seat. Texas gained two seats.
In addition to the reapportionment of seats, the U.S. Census is used in the redistricting process of each state. Further analyzing the demographic data of the state, each state legislature redraws the state’s voting districts to account for the recent population trends in the census data. The redistricting process ensures equal measure voting districts.
As a result of the 2020 Census, Florida’s new 28th congressional district will run its first candidates in 2022 House elections. Since the 2010 Census, Florida has gained 3 million people, mainly in districts in Central Florida. The redistricting process in Florida, controlled by a Republican legislature, favors Central Florida’s congressional districts and impairs South Florida’s seats.
The U.S. Census readjusts campaign strategies, voting districts, policy agendas and funding every decade. It provides a reassessment for political and social leaders on the demographic trends, changes and stabilities. For the next decade, the 2020 Census will continue to influence federal and state politics.