A Closer Look at the 25 Fastest-Growing Districts

Yesterday I created lists of the biggest gainers and losers among congressional districts over the period of 2000-10, but only hinted at the changes in racial composition that were underlying the overall population changes. A longer post about the racial composition (analogous to this one I did a year and a half ago) changes is in the works, but as part of that I conceived of this table… which really would have worked better with yesterday’s piece, so I’m giving it its own home here. It shows the numeric change in each district, broken down by the numeric change among each race in each district.

What should stand out here is that among the 25 biggest gainers, in most of the districts, the combined non-white gains exceeded the (non-Hispanic) white gains. Among the few that didn’t, some are districts that are either heavy on retirees (AZ-02, FL-05), some have a large Mormon population (AZ-06, UT-03), with a few a little harder to classify (GA-09 is sort of the exurban white flight receptacle from the rest of the Atlanta area, and ID-01 is a mix of a lot of Mormons and a lot of white flight from southern California). As always, as I’ve cautioned many times before, these districts aren’t an immediate panacea for Democrats and look to stay fairly red for the short term; with most of these districts full of kids (kids who aren’t likely to grow up to be Republicans, though!), gains at the ballot box are going to unfold slooooowly.

District Rep. Total
NV-03 Heck (R) 378,510 108,587 40,011 71,132 136,127
AZ-02 Franks (R) 331,404 171,702 20,194 14,194 110,853
AZ-06 Flake (R) 330,373 183,522 18,103 23,727 89,920
TX-10 McCaul (R) 329,844 81,819 49,129 31,182 159,747
FL-05 Nugent (R) 289,814 178,699 27,165 10,496 65,238
CA-45 Bono Mack (R) 275,656 56,706 17,886 22,645 170,850
GA-07 Woodall (R) 272,680 10,327 123,993 47,477 80,659
TX-26 Burgess (R) 263,279 112,403 20,457 21,450 100,522
TX-22 Olson (R) 259,220 10,994 66,263 64,288 112,521
TX-31 Carter (R) 250,233 108,700 24,991 16,193 89,632
NC-09 Myrick (R) 232,672 96,914 62,615 15,404 47,784
VA-10 Wolf (R) 225,723 58,443 19,165 65,737 71,862
UT-03 Chaffetz (R) 221,687 116,807 4,236 7,233 79,400
FL-14 Mack (R) 219,658 99,639 23,344 7,121 85,608
AZ-07 Grijalva (D) 214,773 31,852 14,353 7,048 154,255
NC-04 Price (D) 207,446 95,066 30,678 30,282 43,656
CA-44 Calvert (R) 205,748 15,323 8,961 36,006 142,532
CA-25 McKeon (R) 205,552 – 11,603 33,418 23,554 156,518
TX-21 Smith (R) 205,024 69,035 13,983 15,086 102,114
FL-12 Ross (R) 202,103 38,827 46,963 8,079 101,630
TX-28 Cuellar (D) 200,565 25,648 3,741 3,060 166,375
TX-23 Canseco (R) 196,502 36,500 8,704 8,756 139,265
TX-04 Hall (R) 194,642 93,402 19,450 12,972 60,583
GA-09 Graves (R) 193,905 116,666 8,550 9,842 53,801
ID-01 Labrador (R) 193,008 141,065 2,289 3,448 39,020

47 thoughts on “A Closer Look at the 25 Fastest-Growing Districts”

  1. Look much different come 2013, depending on whether The Legislature can agree on a redistricting plan. So far, negotiations are heated on the budget, though both sides essentially realize some revenue (i.e. taxes) will have to be raised.  If The Legislature can get its act together on the budget and get redistricting done in time (or at least get it done by the time a July special session ends), NV-03 will probably end up looking more like this, while the more diverse (and Democratic heavy) parts of the current NV-03 likely end up in the new NV-04 seat.

  2. As I argued yesterday (http://rootedcosmopolitan.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/waking-up-to-a-more-complex-reality-about-redistricting/), increasing the percentage of black voters in an area has a disproportionate effect on the partisanship, because even in the areas where white voters are most rabidly Republican they’re still almost never more than 3-1 Republican, but black voters everywhere tend to be 8-1 or 9-1 Democratic. When you factor in the Hispanics and Asians, who aren’t as heavily Democratic as blacks but are still more Democratic almost everywhere than whites are almost anywhere, an increasing share of the minority population will almost everywhere make an area more Democratic. This is especially true if those minority voters in previously all or mostly white areas are moving from areas that were overwhelmingly minority. That means it’s harder to corral the Democrats together because they’re not concentrated, but those smaller but still overwhelmingly Democratic enclaves are less likely to be able to stand by themselves and have to be grafted on to areas that had been more likely to be in either a Republican or swing district.

    Democratic votes are becoming more efficiently distributed, which is a redistricting plus for Democrats.

  3. White gains slightly outnumber non-white gains there as well (though only by about 300 or so.)  Like GA-09, that’s basically the receptacle for white flight from Dallas.

  4. I knew it had diversified, but I had no idea to that rate.  Assuming Wikipedia is right, GA-07 went from 80% white to 53% white.

  5. source: http://www.nationaljournal.com


    Georgia looks really interesting (ponder this: if Obama got the same percentage of the white vote in GA as he did in SC in 2008, he would have won GA)… would not be surprised if Obama makes a play for it …

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