2020 Census data shows Memphis shrinking, DeSoto growing and Shelby stable
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – New data from the 2020 census was released Thursday, showing changes in the Memphis area and across the country over the past decade.
For the first time ever, the percentage of white Americans has fallen from 64% to less than 58% of the population over the past decade. Simultaneously, the percentage of blacks, Asians and Hispanics in the country has increased. The 2020 census data showed more people identifying as mixed race.
In our area, Shelby County remained the largest county in Tennessee. There was a slight increase in the number of inhabitants.
However, all of the county’s growth has occurred outside of Memphis, which has lost nearly 14,000 residents over the past 10 years. The population of Memphis is now 633,104.
Across the Mississippi border, DeSoto County is booming. The data showed that more than 185,000 people now live there, an increase of almost 15%.
Across the river in Arkansas, Crittenden County saw its population decline by nearly 5.5%.
For more detailed census demographics, visit their website.
Areas in and around Nashville have experienced a population boom over the past decade.
The updated information sets the stage for working on new political maps in the state Legislature, where Republicans hold a 73-26 advantage in the House over Democrats and a 27-6 margin in the Senate. , the two supermajorities. The state grew by 8.9% – outpacing the national rate of 7.4% – and grew to 6.9 million residents in 2020 from 6.3 million in 2010.
Tennessee will not win or lose any congressional districts. The House delegation currently includes seven Republicans and two Democrats, whose districts are centered on Nashville and Memphis.
Tennessee’s growth was driven in large part by Middle Tennessee, where several counties comprising the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area recorded the 19th highest collective rate among its national peers at 20.9%. This mirrors a trend in data showing that much of the fastest growth has occurred in the nation’s largest cities and their suburbs.
Nashville-Davidson County itself saw its population increase by 14.2%, adding about 89,200 people over the decade and registering as the second most populous in the state, according to the figures. Its suburbs saw a larger percentage increase, with Williamson County rising 35.2%, or 64,500 people, and Rutherford County jumping 30%, or about 78,900 people. Several other counties in Middle Tennessee saw their population increase by more than 20%.
It remains unclear whether Republican lawmakers will attempt to carve Nashville into multiple congressional districts in an attempt to swing Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper’s seat in the GOP column.
Shelby County, which includes Memphis and remains the most populous county, saw a small population increase of 0.2%, or 2,100 people, while several western Tennessee counties saw declines in population. population. Fayette County, east of Shelby, was the exception, with a 9.3% increase.
Meanwhile, parts of eastern Tennessee also outpaced the state’s average population increase. Knox County, which includes Knoxville, jumped 10.8%, with Loudon County up 13% and Sevier County, a tourist destination in the Smoky Mountains, up 9.4%. Hamilton County, which includes Chattanooga, neared the state average with 8.8% growth, and neighboring Bradley County grew 9.8%.
The release of redistricting data from the 2020 census came more than four months later than expected due to delays caused by the pandemic. The redistricting numbers that states use to redraw congressional and legislative districts show where white, Asian, black and Hispanic communities have grown over the past decade.
It also shows which areas have aged or rejuvenated and the number of people living in dormitories, prisons and nursing homes. The data covers geographic areas as small as neighborhoods and as large as states. An earlier dataset released in April provided state population figures and showed the United States had 331 million people last year.
Tiny Trousdale County ended up with the highest percentage growth in the state at 47.6% — a new population of about 11,600 — due to a large state prison established since the census of 2010.
A spokesperson for the leader of the state Senate, GOP Lt. Governor Randy McNally, said the public and lawmakers will have the opportunity to weigh in on the process and submit their own sweeping redistricting proposals. of State.
Lawmakers will form a redistricting committee and their proposals will be taken up in the 2022 legislative session which begins in January. Republican Gov. Bill Lee has veto power over the finalized plan, but he is not expected to raise many objections.
Legislative Democrats have called for action beyond what Republicans are promising, including livestreamed town hall meetings around the state and releasing first drafts of the proposed maps this fall.
In 2010, the congressional redistricting plan failed to divide traditionally Democratic Nashville into multiple districts.
Lawmakers approved the new plans from Congress and legislation in January 2012. The Senate seat plan was later challenged in state court, with plaintiffs arguing that it unnecessarily divided too many counties, particularly around Memphis, which has the largest black population in the state. However, the plan was eventually confirmed.
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