Racial Composition Change by CD

With the Census Bureau having released 2010 data for all 435 congressional districts, I started slicing ‘n’ dicing the data last week, looking at population change in the fastest growing and shrinking districts. Today, as promised, we’re moving on to how the racial composition of the congressional districts has changed.

You might remember that I did this same project a year and a half ago based on 2008 estimated data, and that was a good template for today’s work, as the lists haven’t changed that much. Where the lists have changed, it seems to be more likely because of strange sample issues in 2008 (like the rapid appearance and subsequent disappearance of a big Asian population in NY-06) than rapid changes in the trend over the last two years. As with last time, the most remarkable chart is the one showing biggest declines, percentage-wise in districts’ non-Hispanic white populations. (Because this is the key chart, I’m extending this list to 25 places.) As you’ll no doubt notice, many of these districts also had some of the biggest moves in the Democratic direction over the years from 2000 to 2008.


District Rep. 2000
white
2000
total
2000
%
2010
white
2010
total
2010
%
%
change
2000
election
2008
election
GA-07 Woodall (R) 476,346 630,511 75.5 486,673 903,191 53.9 – 21.7 31/69 39/60
GA-13 Scott (D) 295,107 629,403 46.9 202,053 784,445 25.8 – 21.1 57/43 71/28
TX-24 Marchant (R) 415,842 651,137 63.9 368,645 792,319 46.5 – 17.3 32/68 44/55
TX-22 Olson (R) 394,651 651,657 60.6 405,645 910,877 44.5 – 16.0 33/67 41/58
FL-19 Deutch (D) 494,890 638,503 77.5 456,060 736,419 61.9 – 15.5 73/27 65/34
CA-25 McKeon (R) 363,792 638,768 57.0 352,189 844,320 41.7 – 15.2 42/56 49/48
FL-20 Wasserman Schultz (D) 426,891 639,795 66.7 358,470 691,727 51.8 – 14.9 69/31 63/36
TX-07 Culberson (R) 439,217 651,682 67.4 411,276 780,611 52.7 – 14.7 31/69 41/58
NV-03 Heck (R) 459,756 665,345 69.1 568,343 1,043,855 54.4 – 14.7 49/48 55/43
TX-10 McCaul (R) 431,992 651,523 66.3 513,811 981,367 52.4 – 13.9 34/67 44/55
IL-03 Lipinski (D) 445,179 653,292 68.1 361,581 663,381 54.5 – 13.6 58/40 64/35
CA-11 McNerney (D) 408,785 639,625 63.9 400,825 796,753 50.3 – 13.6 45/53 54/44
VA-10 Wolf (R) 495,611 643,714 77.0 554,054 869,437 63.7 – 13.3 41/56 53/46
TX-02 Poe (R) 418,476, 651,605 64.2 399,454 782,375 51.1 – 13.2 37/63 40/60
FL-08 Webster (R) 447,266 639,026 70.0 459,529 805,608 57.0 – 13.0 46/54 53/47
CA-41 Lewis (R) 405,790 639,935 63.4 404,103 797,133 50.7 – 12.7 41/56 44/54
FL-12 Ross (R) 461,239 640,096 72.1 500,066 842,199 59.4 – 12.7 45/55 49/50
CA-10 Garamendi (D) 417,008, 638,238 65.3 377,698 714,750 52.8 – 12.5 55/41 65/33
CA-22 McCarthy (R) 426,192 638,514 66.7 432,482 797,084 54.3 – 12.5 33/64 38/60
MD-05 Hoyer (D) 400,668 662,203 60.5 368,667 767,369 48.0 – 12.4 57/41 65/33
NV-01 Berkley (D) 342,987 666,442 51.5 322,853 820,134 39.4 – 12.1 56/41 64/34
CA-13 Stark (D) 244,693 638,708 38.3 174,998 665,318 26.3 – 12.0 67/30 74/24
VA-11 Connelly (D) 430,091 643,582 66.8 434,526 792,095 54.9 – 12.0 45/52 57/42
CA-03 Lungren (R) 474,940 639,374 74.3 488,421 783,317 62.4 – 11.9 41/55 49/49
FL-15 Posey (R) 497,676 639,133 77.9 539,194 813,570 66.3 – 11.6 46/54 48/51

Districts appearing in the 2010 data’s top 25 that weren’t present in 2008 are VA-10, TX-02, FL-08, CA-41, and NV-01; while the other four are driven mostly by Latino growth, the growth in VA-10 (in Washington DC suburbs, more and more centered on once-exurban, now-suburban Loudoun County) is more Asian. These five replace TX-05, AZ-03, TX-06, TX-03, and NJ-07.

This presents a very different picture than the districts ordered according to the actual raw number of white residents lost. That list starts with GA-13 in first, which fell from 295,107 white residents in 2000 to 202,053 in 2010. This is the southern tier of Atlanta’s suburbs and exurbs, which is increasingly becoming a magnet for both Atlanta African-Americans moving outward and northern blacks moving south – in turn driving a lot of white flight, much of which seems to be rearranging itself north of Atlanta, especially in the 9th. The fast-growing 13th is unusual on this list, though; most of the remaining top 10 losers are districts where the overall population is stagnant or going down: MI-12, IL-03, PA-14, OH-10, IN-07, IL-02, CA-13, FL-20, and MO-01. As you’ll see in upcoming charts, blacks are replacing whites in MI-12, Hispanics are replacing whites in IL-03 and FL-20, Asians are replacing whites in CA-13, while in PA-14, OH-10, IN-07, IL-02, and MO-01, everyone is leaving, with whites are leaving the fastest.

Much, much more over the flip…

Here are the districts with the biggest gains among non-Hispanic whites:


District Rep. 2000
white
2000
total
2000
%
2010
white
2010
total
2010
%
%
change
2000
election
2008
election
IL-07 Davis (D) 178,144 653,521 27.3 204,780 638,105 32.1 4.8 83/16 88/12
NY-15 Rangel (D) 106,664 654,355 16.3 133,839 639,873 20.9 4.6 87/7 93/6
NY-11 Clarke (D) 140,595 654,134 21.5 161,819 632,408 25.6 4.1 83/9 91/9
NY-12 Velazquez (D) 150,673 653,346 23.1 180,232 672,358 26.8 3.7 77/15 86/13
GA-05 Lewis (D) 216,674 629,438 34.4 232,507 630,462 36.9 2.4 73/27 79/20
NY-10 Towns (D) 106,746 665,668 16.0 124,232 677,721 18.3 2.3 88/8 91/9
MI-14 Conyers (D) 213,120 662,468 32.2 187,516 550,465 34.1 1.9 81/18 86/14
CA-33 Bass (D) 126,488 638,655 19.8 137,720 637,122 21.6 1.8 83/14 87/12
CA-31 Becerra (D) 62,177 639,248 9.7 69,321 611,336 11.3 1.6 77/19 80/18
SC-06 Clyburn (D) 269,215 669,362 40.2 280,474 682,410 41.1 0.9 58/40 64/35

While you might expect the biggest white gains to be in the exurbs, that’s not the case at all (as suburbs and even exurbs are often becoming a first stopping-point for new immigrants). Instead, most of this list shows regentrification at work, especially in the parts of the outer boroughs of New York City currently under invasion by hipster armies (and also new additions CA-31 and CA-33, evidence of the very recent momentum in the revival of downtown Los Angeles). Similarly, Atlanta is becoming whiter even as its suburbs become much more African-American (which we got a preview of with last year’s mayoral race, where a white candidate nearly won). The odd district out is Detroit-based MI-14, where whites seem to be fleeing at a slower rate than everyone else. Only five additional districts had a percentage gain in white residents, for a total of 15 of all 435: LA-02, HI-02, CA-29, PA-02, and IL-04. (HI-02, NY-14, and CA-29 fall off the top 10 list from 2008, replaced by CA-33, CA-31, and SC-06.)

If you’re wondering which districts had the biggest numeric gains of white residents, rather than changes in the white percentage, here’s where the exurbs come in; the list looks a lot like the list of the biggest gainers altogether, or at least the whiter districts among the biggest gainers. AZ-06 in the Phoenix suburbs (with a large Mormon core in Mesa) had the biggest gain, from 490,359 to 673,881, followed by FL-05, AZ-02, ID-01, UT-03, GA-09, CO-06, SC-01, TX-26, and TX-31.

Now let’s turn to African-American populations:


District Rep. 2000
black
2000
total
2000
%
2010
black
2010
total
2010
%
%
change
2000
election
2008
election
GA-13 Scott (D) 255,455 629,403 40.6 439,119 784,445 56.0 15.4 57/43 71/28
GA-07 Woodall (R) 72,962 630,511 11.6 196,955 903,191 21.8 10.2 31/69 39/60
MI-12 Levin (D) 77,403 662,559 11.7 133,766 636,601 21.0 9.3 61/37 65/33
IL-02 Jackson (D) 403,522 654,078 61.7 414,414 602,758 68.8 7.1 83/17 90/10
MD-05 Hoyer (D) 198,420 662,203 30.0 281,862 767,639 36.7 6.8 57/41 65/33
FL-19 Deutch (D) 37,821 638,503 5.9 91,391 736,419 12.4 6.5 73/27 65/34
MD-02 Ruppersberger (D) 178,860 661,945 27.0 232,194 700,893 33.1 6.1 57/41 60/38
MO-01 Clay (D) 307,715 621,497 49.5 324,711 587,069 55.3 5.8 72/26 80/19
MI-11 McCotter (R) 23,456 662,505 3.5 64,239 695,888 9.2 5.7 47/51 54/45
GA-03 Westmoreland (R) 119,766 630,052 19.0 198,089 817,247 24.2 5.2 33/67 35/64

The list of the top 10 districts in terms of percentage gains among African-Americans is the same 10 as 2008, although with a few changes in the order. The story continues to be African-Americans moving from the cities to the suburbs, especially in the Atlanta area but also Detroit (with Detroiters moving north into the 12th), Chicago (with the metaphorical South Side now starting to extend south well below the city limits and even below I-80), and Washington DC (with Prince George’s County now largely black outside the Beltway, into the 5th, as well as inside in MD-04).

The top 10 gainers by raw numbers has many of the same districts, although also some of the suburban districts that gained a lot of everybody (like TX-22 and NC-09). It starts with GA-13 (from 439K to 629K), followed by GA-07, MD-05, GA-03, TX-22, NC-09, MI-12, FL-19, MD-02, and TX-24.


District Rep. 2000
black
2000
total
2000
%
2010
black
2010
total
2010
%
%
change
2000
election
2008
election
IL-07 Davis (D) 402,714 653,521 61.6 322,730 638,105 50.6 – 11.0 83/16 88/12
GA-05 Lewis (D) 350,940 629,438 55.8 313,302 630,462 49.7 – 6.1 73/27 79/20
LA-02 Richmond (D) 407,138 639,048 63.7 287,077 493,352 58.2 – 5.5 76/22 74/25
CA-09 Lee (D) 164,903 639,426 25.8 131,574 648,766 20.3 – 5.5 79/13 88/10
CA-35 Waters (D) 216,467 638,851 33.9 188,365 662,413 28.4 – 5.4 82/17 84/14
CA-33 Bass (D) 189,855 638,655 29.7 156,406 637,122 24.5 – 5.2 83/14 87/12
NY-11 Clarke (D) 379,017 654,134 57.9 335,828 632,408 53.1 – 4.8 83/9 91/9
PA-02 Fattah (D) 392,293 647,350 60.6 355,849 630,277 56.5 – 4.1 87/12 90/10
NY-15 Rangel (D) 198,915 654,355 30.4 169,460 639,873 26.5 – 3.9 87/7 93/6
TX-18 Jackson-Lee (D) 260,850 651,789 40.0 260,585 720,991 36.1 – 3.9 72/28 77/22

The list of districts with the biggest percentage losses among African-Americans mostly parallels the list of districts with the biggest white gains, where regentrification is changing the complexion (and that it includes the catastrophic regentrification of New Orleans). It also includes several traditionally black districts where the blacks are being replaced mostly by Hispanics: CA-09, CA-35, and TX-18. IL-01 and MD-04 have fallen off the list from 2008, replaced by PA-02 and TX-18.

The top 10 by raw numbers of losses among African-Americans is led (perhaps no surprise) by LA-02, which went from 407K to 287K, followed by MI-13, IL-07, MI-14, IL-01, NY-11, GA-05, PA-02, CA-33, CA-09. Interestingly, because New Orleans in general lost so many people, the 2nd still significantly trails IL-07 in terms of the percentage loss.

Now let’s look at Asian-American populations:


District Rep. 2000
Asian
2000
total
2000
%
2010
Asian
2010
total
2010
%
%
change
2000
election
2008
election
NY-05 Ackerman (D) 159,491 654,253 24.4 218,275 670,130 32.3 8.2 67/30 63/36
CA-13 Stark (D) 179,681 638,708 28.1 239,434 665,318 36.0 7.9 67/30 74/24
CA-15 Honda (D) 187,198 639,090 29.3 246,832 677,605 36.4 7.1 60/36 68/30
CA-48 Campbell (R) 80,095 638,848 12.5 137,094 727,833 18.8 6.3 40/58 49/49
NJ-12 Holt (D) 58,748 647,253 9.1 104,996 701,881 15.0 5.9 56/40 58/41
VA-10 Wolf (R) 41,846 643,714 6.5 107,583 869,437 12.4 5.9 41/56 53/46
WA-08 Reichert (R) 50,745 655,029 7.7 108,807 810,754 13.4 5.7 49/47 57/42
CA-11 McNerney (D) 55,895 639,625 8.7 114,217 796,753 14.3 5.6 45/53 54/44
CA-14 Eshoo (D) 102,430 639,953 16.0 140,789 653,935 21.5 5.5 62/34 73/25
CA-03 Lungren (R) 36,970 639,374 5.8 84,384 783,317 10.8 5.0 41/55 49/49

The Asian gains, percentagewise, are concentrated in the Bay Area, although the #1 gainer is NY-05, where the majority of the population is in NE Queens. Flushing is now thoroughly Asian, and that’s starting to spill over into Bayside (of Archie Bunker and Jerky Boys fame). That’s followed by the East Bay’s CA-13, the first non-Hawaiian district to have an Asian plurality. The rest of the list is mostly affluent suburban areas which are starting to become light-blue at the presidential level even as they keep Republicans in the House; will declining white populations in these districts be enough to push them over the edge?

NY-06, NJ-07, and TX-22 have fallen off the list from 2008, replaced by NJ-12, WA-08, and CA-03. If you’re curious about the top 10 by raw numbers gain, it mostly overlaps the above list, although with some of the all-purpose growth engines (like NV-03) on there too: NV-03, VA-10, TX-22, CA-13, CA-15, NY-05, CA-11, WA-08, CA-48, and VA-11.

Only twelve districts have experienced any drops in the Asian population by percentage, and most of the drops are small, so there’s not much need for a chart for them; HI-02 (28.0% to 24.9%) had the most significant change, partly because of an influx of white retirees but more so because the big rise in “Two or more” as a common choice in Hawaii. That’s followed mostly by districts with rapidly growing Latino populations:  HI-01, CA-20, CA-18, IL-02, TX-29, FL-17, CA-51, TX-30, CA-35, NY-16, and TX-16. Only six districts had drops in raw numbers of Asians: IL-02, MI-13, TX-29, FL-17, IL-05, and IL-01.

Finally, let’s look at Hispanics:


District Rep. 2000
Hispanic
2000
total
2000
%
2010
Hispanic
2010
total
2010
%
%
change
2000
election
2008
election
IL-03 Lipinski (D) 139,268 653,292 21.3 225,298 663,381 34.0 12.6 58/40 64/35
CA-25 McKeon (R) 174,193 638,768 27.3 330,711 844,320 39.2 11.9 42/56 49/48
CA-41 Lewis (R) 150,076 639,935 23.5 277,907 797,133 34.9 11.4 41/56 44/54
CA-43 Baca (D) 371,501 637,764 58.3 510,693 735,581 69.4 11.2 64/34 68/30
CA-22 McCarthy (R) 133,571 638,514 20.9 255,209 797,084 32.0 11.1 33/64 38/60
CA-18 Cardoza (D) 268,586 639,004 42.0 381,039 723,607 52.7 10.6 53/44 59/39
FL-20 Wasserman Schultz (D) 132,575 639,795 20.7 216,352 691,727 31.2 10.6 69/31 63/36
TX-10 McCaul (R) 122,894 651,523 18.9 282,641 981,367 28.8 9.9 34/67 44/55
TX-29 Green (D) 430,980 651,405 66.2 514,861 677,032 76.0 9.9 57/43 62/38
TX-02 Poe (R) 82,578 651,605 12.7 176,196 782,375 22.5 9.8 37/63 40/60

As in 2008, the biggest gainer is IL-03, covering Chicago’s Southwest Side. (I’m truly not sure if people are moving from the depopulating, closer-in IL-04 to the slightly more spacious 3rd, or if the 3rd is becoming the destination of choice for new émigrés; maybe Chicagoans in the comments might shed some insight into that.) And in second place continues to be CA-25, a Republican-held district linking LA suburbs like Santa Clarita with high desert outposts like Lancaster. Interestingly, the list is pretty evenly divided by Democratic-held districts that already were substantially Hispanic and just got much more so (like TX-29 and CA-43), and Republican-held suburban districts where voting patterns haven’t caught up with the Hispanic population (and given the number of kids and non-citizens among those numbers, where it’ll take many more years for that catching up to happen).

There’s been a lot of churn among districts since 2008, perhaps a result of the difficulty of estimating Hispanic populations: districts falling off the top 10 list since 2008 are TX-32, TX-05, AZ-04, and CA-52. These have been replaced by CA-43, CA-18, TX-10, and TX-02.

The top 10 in raw numbers gain doesn’t correlate directly with districts that had biggest white percentage drops or Hispanic percentage gains. Instead, the list pretty thoroughly overlaps with the list of the top population gainers overall; while the Hispanic percentage went upwards in all of those districts, many of these districts were ones with a large Hispanic share already: case in point, the biggest gainer, FL-25 in Miami’s westernmost suburbs (which went from 398,986 to 577,998). That’s followed by CA-45 (which I certainly would have expected to see in the top 10 Hispanic percentage changes, but where the share increased “only” by 7.2%), TX-28, TX-10, CA-25, AZ-07, TX-15, CA-44, TX-23, and CA-43.

One remarkable thing about Hispanic growth is that it’s present almost everywhere. Only six districts experienced any drops in the Hispanic percentage whatsoever, all in urban districts where regentrification is occurring: starting with NY-12 (48.7% to 44.6%), followed by CA-31, NY-15, CA-29, IL-04, and NY-14. Those same six districts were the only ones to report drops in raw numbers, either: IL-04 had the biggest loss (from 486,839 to 442,018), CA-31, NY-12, NY-15, CA-29, and NY-14.

79 thoughts on “Racial Composition Change by CD”

  1. I don’t mean to impugn your analysis, but do increases of 5 percent–at absolute most, over ten years–really constitute “invasions”?  How much does something like that change a district’s politics?  GA-05 went from 34% white to 36% white, was that really the kind of tipping point that could nearly swing a mayor’s race?

    Thanks for crunching the numbers, though–this is fascinating stuff.

    1. Maybe what I should have said is “young Hispanic conservatives”. I don’t know what the data is but if both of your parents are reliable Democrats I think that the chances of you becoming a hardcore Republican are a lot less then you becoming a reliable Democrat or left-leaning independent. My overall point is that as the Hispanic population grows (it is becoming a reliably Democratic vote when they do vote) I don’t see it becoming a lot more conservative, especially with the Mexican-American vote. People like Kevin McCarthy in his district as configured will increasingly have to hope that the Latino vote share doesn’t drastically increase or he is in trouble. I can’t see it dipping below the 60-65% range anytime soon especially given the GOP’s harsh rhetoric.  

  2. that I have been thinking about for a while.  Could there be a radical change in the composition of the members of the house delegation from Houston?

    Sheila Jackson-Lee’s district, and central houston in general, is less-and-less dominated by large, centrally located clusters of AA neighborhoods.  Plus, Al Green’s district is minority-majority, but with a 36% AA plurarity.  Yes, you see that correctly, a 36% AA plurality.

    Would the GOP in the texas state house possibly try to combine these two dems into one district, have TX-8 (far north houston suburbs, sapphire red) swing into Greenspoint (dem suburb represented by SJL) and have Ron Paul swing up into parts of Missouri City (Al Green represents this other dem suburb) and finally have TX-7 (Culberson) swing into acres homes/W. 34th street (also represented by SJL) to neuter these dems.  These three districts would change from something like R+15 to R+10 (TX-7 might go to R+5), nothing special, but would pit Al Green and SJL in a new mega-dem district.

    This could be how, technically, the GOP could make the new districts 4-0, by combining even more dems into deep-blue seats in Houston, while still creating one or two new VRA districts in Dallas and the Valley.  You could try to combine canseco and gonzales into one district from central San. An. throughout the far-west valley, but you would put Lamar Smith and whatever new TX-thirtywhatever district into R+3/4 territory, something a Dem could definitely win.

  3. Archie Bunker was NOT supposed to be from Bayside.  He was supposed to be from the Astoria/Sunnyside area of western Queens — a more lower middle class area.  

  4. sorry if this is a stupid question, but all of these districts have stayed the same over the years, no? If the lines changed slightly in some of these areas, wouldn’t that account for the differences?

    What’s really going to be interesting is to see how the population growth adjusts as these people become second generation and third generation residents. If non-whites keep reproducing at the same rate as they are now reproducing and new immigration keeps up, we’ve only seen the beginning of an explosion in absolute numbers.  

  5. those two S Fla districts became less blue as they filled up with Hispanics. Is this due more to the new Hispanics being mostly conservative Cubans, or to the whites reacting better to Lieberman than to Obama?

  6. but the critical political question over the next three decades will be whether second and third generation Hispanics become more GOP-friendly (because of rising incomes and/or assimilation) like the Irish, Germans and Italians before them or whether the Hispanic population remains strongly pro-Dem in partisan preference — like African-Americans and Jews.  

    1. You’re right. The Southern white vote in Texas probably isn’t maxed out at around 60%. The problem is that Southern whites aren’t a growing group. The growth in the white population has alot to do with inmigration from places, like California, who have completely different voting habits.

    2. Counties in rural Texas that used to vote Dem are already starting to vote 90-10 Republican or so, they’re going to run into a wall pretty soon. Texas has Austin, and I’m guessing whites in places like Dallas and Houston have enough liberals that they’ll never start voting 90-10, maybe 70-30 at worst. I’m no Texas expert but in a state with so many cities, it’s hard to imagine that the white vote would resemble Mississippi or Alabama more than South Carolina or Georgia.

  7. Also, can a CA expert tell me what’s up with CA-41? Its demographic changes seem to match the rest of the Inland Empire, but its partisan changes most certainly do not.

  8. As stated elsewhere up thread, I wanted to expand on this just a bit. There are 3 California Republicans that have a lot of Hispanics in their district and they are growing at an incredibly fast rate. For example, Kevin McCarthy is in leadership and went from 21% to 32% Hispanic in just 10 years. While its hard to say what his district will turn out can he continue to lead his party that is so anti-immigration and frankly borders on xenophobic in a district where 40% of the population is Hispanic as it may happen in the not too distant future? While now they clearly don’t vote as high as the whites in his district who I assume are very conservative but as those numbers grow it is going to be tougher for people like him especially with him being in leadership. If the Hispanic vote share gets to 30% of the district, which may happen in the not-too distant future and they are 70% Democratic which is plausible in California all the Democrat would need is 42% of the white vote for a majority.

    While that is an oversimplified example many districts are becoming much less white to the point that only 40% of the white vote may be needed for victory for the Democrat. Now we just need to work on turning them out!!

    Second up-thread others have wondered what future generations of Hispanics will vote. I can speak only for myself but I am first generation (Mexican) and I have 7 first cousins that are of voting age. 5 of us are solid democrats and 2 of us are apathetic. If future numbers continue in that direction it is very, very bad news for the GOP. Over simplified example I know but I rarely see young conservatives whose parents were not conservatives as well. My kids better not turn out that way!!!

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