Today’s the last day of Census data releases, meaning we have the complete set of all 50 states now. The Census Bureau released some data summarizing the entire nation, including what you’d think was the single most important bit of all, considering the way they hyped the announcement: the new population center of the U.S., still in south-central Missouri, but moving 30 miles to the southwest, now near Plato, MO. Perhaps more interestingly, they summarized the country’s demographic change as a whole: that starts with the nation’s Hispanic population crossing the 50 million mark, now up to almost 17% of the nation’s population. Hispanics and Asians both grew at a 43% rate, and people checking “2 or more” races rose at a 32% rate. The non-Hispanic white share of the population fell from 69% to 64%. They also found a country that’s more urban than ever before, with 84% of the country living in metropolitan areas now.
I know you’re all champing at the bit to find out what happens in Maine, but there’s this other state called “New… Something” that we should probably get through first. New York is one of only two states to lose two seats, from 29 down to 27. (Ohio was the other one.) New York’s new target is 717,707, up from about 654K in 2000. Thanks to a few hundred votes in a couple of state Senate races that tipped that chamber’s balance, the GOP managed to hold on to one leg of the redistricting trifecta, meaning that instead of a shot at a 26-1 Dem map, there’s probably just going to be a shared-pain map instead with a GOP loss upstate and a Dem loss in the NYC metro area. That’s despite the fact that New York City itself actually grew a bit, to 8.175 million, still by far the nation’s largest city. (There are moves afoot toward an independent redistricting commission, but this doesn’t seem likely to happen.)
In general, the heaviest losses were in the western part of Upstate, with the state’s two biggest losers the Dem-held 27th (Buffalo) and 28th (Rochester). On the other hand, losses also popped up rather patchily in parts of the outer boroughs (especially the 11th in the black parts of Brooklyn… without much seniority, Yvette Clarke may wind up with the shortest straw among the NYC delegation) and Long Island (Peter King’s 3rd… which would be a prime target for the 2nd seat to evaporate, if only the Dems controlled the trifecta here). The big gainers were both urban (Jerry Nadler’s 8th, probably fueled not so much by growth in Manhattan as among Orthodox families in Borough Park in Brooklyn) and exurban (Nan Hayworth’s 19th, at the outermost reaches of the NYC metro area).
While none of the districts in New York seem to be undergoing the kind of rapid demographic transformation that threatens the red/blue balance in any place like we’ve seen in Texas or California, a few districts are worth looking at just as an indicator of what an interesting tapestry New York City is. Take the 5th for instance (another possibility for wipeout, given its strange position straddling Nassau County and Queens, and Gary Ackerman’s non-entity-ness): it’s moved from 44% non-Hispanic white, 5% non-Hispanic black, 24% non-Hispanic Asian, and 24% Hispanic, to 36% white, 4% black, 33% Asian, and 26% Hispanic, close to an Asian-plurality, thanks to growth in the Asian community in Flushing. A few districts in New York City are getting whiter, thanks to hipsters and gentrifiers: the 11th moved from 21% white and 58% black to 26% white and 53% black, while the 12th moved from 23% white and 49% Hispanic to 27% white and 45% Hispanic. The Harlem-based 15th went from 16% white, 30% black, and 48% Hispanic, to 21% white, 26% black, and 46% Hispanic, while the remarkably complex, Queens-based 7th went the other direction, from 28% white, 16% black, 13% Asian, and 40% Hispanic to 21% white, 16% black, 16% Asian, and 44% Hispanic.
Now for the maine event! (Rim shot.) Maine’s a lot like Rhode Island and New Hampshire in that the long-standing boundary between its two districts rarely seems to budge much, and this year won’t be any different. Maine’s target is 664,181, up from 637K in 2000. The disparity of a little more than 4,000 people means things won’t change much; the Republicans control the redistricting process this year but there’s not a lot of fertile material here for them to try to make swingy ME-02 much redder.