First look at the 2020 census results
Edward Henderson | California Black Media
Last week, the US Census Bureau held a press conference to announce its first local-level results from the 2020 data collection round.
The new numbers – which provide demographic information at the county, city and block level – reveal that California is more multiracial, more urban and facing population shifts that will likely lead to redrawing the boundaries of congressional districts and state legislation.
According to estimates released by the Census Bureau in April, California is already losing a seat in the United States House of Representatives for the first time in the state’s 171-year history, bringing the congressional delegation back from the state with 52 members. This loss of one seat will also equate to a drop in the amount of federal funding California receives each year.
As of August 2020, the 14-member California Citizens Redistricting Commission has been working on the once-in-a-decade project to redraw the lines of the Congressional, Senate, and State Assembly and State Board of Equalization districts. . There are five Democrats, five Republicans and four non-party members serving on the commission.
Importance of census data
“Redistricting data provides population counts as well as demographic characteristics of ethnicity, race and voting age at all levels of geography,” said James Whitehorne, director of the Office of Redistricting Data and Human Rights. vote, US Census Bureau. “While the main purpose of this data is for states to redraw their districts, these statistics will also tell us how many people live in each city, each county and each block.”
These numbers also determine how — and how much — state and federal funding will be allocated to counties and cities across the state.
Based on the numbers, most of the changes coming to the state’s legislative districts are expected to occur where there has been an increase in population, slow growth, or loss of residents – areas in rural the northernmost parts of the state and in southern California counties around or below Los Angeles. Growth in the Los Angeles area, for example, over the past 10 years has been slow, but some cities like Irvine in Orange County are now among the fastest growing in the country. Over the past 10 years, the complexion of California has changed dramatically.
Driven primarily by the growing population of Hispanics, the state has joined Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and New Mexico as places in the United States where whites are no longer in the majority. The state’s Hispanic population has grown from 37.6% in 2010 to 39.4% in 2020, while the white population has grown from 40.1% to 34.7%.
The state’s black population also saw a decrease from just over 6% to 5.7%. The current total black population is now 2,237,044.
California is also the second most diverse state after Hawaii, according to the Census Bureau.
“As the country has grown, we have continued to evolve in how we measure the race and ethnicity of the people who live here,” said Nicholas Jones, director and senior adviser at Race and Ethnic Research and Outreach, Population Division, US Census Bureau. .
Changes in the 2020 census
The Census Bureau made a significant change to the 2020 Census data collection. It used two separate questions to collect an additional layer of ethnic information on top of the usual race and Hispanic origin surveys. For example, if a participant identified as black or African American, it was also possible to specify nationalities such as Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Somali Ethiopian, etc.
“The enhancements we’ve made to the 2020 census give a more accurate picture of how people identify in response to two separate questions about Hispanic origin and race. Our analysis of the 2020 census results shows that the US population is far more multiracial and more racially and ethnically diverse than what we have measured in the past.
America’s diverse population
In the United States, the results showed the white population remained the largest in the country at 204.3 million, with an additional 31.1 million identified as mixed in combination with white people. The multiracial population included the second highest population for the first time at 49.9 million alone or combined, surpassing the black or African American population at 46.9 million.
The American population is now made up of 57.8% white, 18.7% Hispanic, 12.4% black and 6% Asian.
Several other notable findings were shared by the office during the presentation. The US population currently stands at 331.4 million, an increase of 22.7 million over the past 10 years. The 7.4% increase is the second lowest growth rate in history.
Overall, national population growth has been centered around urban areas over the past 10 years. California is home to three of the ten largest cities in the country. San Jose sits at number 10 with a population of 1.01 million (a 7.1% increase), San Diego is at number eight with 1.4 million (a 6.1% increase ) and number two on the list is Los Angeles with 3.8 million people (a 2.8 percent increase).
For the first time, all of the cities in the top 10 (most populated) have more than one million inhabitants.
According to the Census Bureau, this first release of local redistricting data is in a legacy format that will be easier to navigate for experienced data analysts.
In September, we will release the exact same data in a much more user-friendly format that people are familiar with and will allow for easier searching,” Jones said.
Visit censum.gov for more detailed information, charts and analysis.