Census shows less white Texas ahead of redistricting fight

Aug 12, 2021, 3:38 AM | Updated: 3:50 pm

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Four of the nation’s 10 fastest-growing municipalities are suburbs of Texas’ big cities, census data released Thursday shows, meaning the second largest state in the U.S. could play a big part in the redistricting battle for control of Congress.

Texas also grew less white and more urban over the past 10 years, following the same overall trend seen across the country.

The new data culled from the 2020 census is coming more than four months later than expected due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The redistricting numbers states use for redrawing congressional and legislative districts show where white, Asian, Black and Hispanic communities grew over the past decade. It also shows which areas have gotten older or younger and the number of people living in dorms, prisons and nursing homes. The data covers geographies as small as neighborhoods and as large as states.

An earlier set of data released in April provided state population counts and showed the U.S. had 331 million residents last year, a 7.4% increase from 2010. That dataset determined that Texas will pick up two additional U.S. House seats — bringing its total to 38, and two more electoral votes, for a total of 40, making it’s already large footprint on national politics even bigger.

Ballooning populations in metropolitan areas comes as many of Texas’ rural areas have shrunk, similar to other parts of the U.S.

That — plus the state’s increasingly younger and more diverse demographics — will be important elements to consider in the GOP-controlled process of redrawing the boundaries from which state and federal lawmakers are elected, according to Joshua Blank, research director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.

“The nature of the population growth in the state and the fact that it is not evenly distributed throughout means we will have to see a lot of changes to the political maps in order to accommodate the change of the population growth,” Blank said.

Republicans hold a majority of the state’s Congressional and Statehouse seats in both chambers, and they will have full control over the redistricting process.

For now, Republicans and Democrats find themselves at loggerheads. House Democrats walked off the job more than a month ago to block voting restrictions, and that has stopped the Legislature’s work on all bills.

Rep. Jim Murphy, who leads the Texas House Republican Caucus, said the pressure is on his Democratic colleagues to come back to work, and then the state’s redistricting committee could meet.

“I really want the people of Texas to be able to participate in this process — it’s critical — but without a few more Democrats the people of Texas are going to be left out of that process,” Murphy said.

If that committee is unable to meet, Murphy said, redistricting lines would be up to the courts and taken up in the next regular legislative session, set for 2023 — after midterm congressional elections.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said he will continue to call special sessions on voting bills until the Legislature gets the job done. He has also pointed to scheduling a special session for redistricting.

Laws also exist “to protect the equality of the vote between individuals and also to protect groups that have historically been discriminated against,” Blank said.

Drawing politically advantageous district lines is known as gerrymandering.

State Rep. Rafael Anchía, a Democrat, is chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and a member of the House redistricting committee. He said in a statement that he called on his colleagues to “embrace diversity” in redrawing the maps.

“Gerrymandering blocks fair maps that reflect today’s Texas. Today, while Latinos make up 40 percent of the Texas population, we only represent 25 percent of the Texas House,” Anchía said.

Since 2010, Texas has grown by nearly 4 million people — roughly the entire population of neighboring Oklahoma and more than any other state in sheer numbers. Texas is now home to 29 million residents, second in size only to California.

That growth saw five Texas cities — Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio — gain 100,000 people over the past decade. Frisco and McKinney near Dallas; Conroe near Houston, and New Braunfels near San Antonio are among the 10 fastest growing cities in the U.S.

Democrats generally have fared better in growing Texas suburbs in recent elections. A recent analysis by The Associated Press showed that a decade ago, Republican politicians used census data to draw voting districts that gave them a greater political advantage in more states than either party had in the past 50 years.


Acacia Coronado is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping waves at an event to introduce new members of the Politburo Sta...
Associated Press

China’s Xi faces public anger over draconian ‘zero COVID’

SHANGHAI (AP) — Barely a month after granting himself new powers as China’s potential leader for life, Xi Jinping is facing a wave of public anger of the kind not seen for decades, sparked by his draconian “zero COVID” program that will soon enter its fourth year. Demonstrators poured into the streets over the weekend […]
1 day ago
British Minister of State for Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan speaks at the National Press Club i...
Associated Press

UK minister says Australian submarines will assure neighbors

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s shift to nuclear-powered submarines will assure its South Pacific neighbors of its commitment to regional security, Britain’s Minister of State for the Indo-Pacific said Monday. Australia will announce in March what type of submarine powered with U.S. nuclear technology it wants to build under a deal with the United States […]
1 day ago
A woman shouts during a protest in Beijing, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. Protesters angered by strict ant...
Associated Press

China affirms zero-COVID stance, eases rules after protests

BEIJING (AP) — Authorities eased anti-virus rules in scattered areas but affirmed China’s severe “zero- COVID” strategy Monday after crowds demanded President Xi Jinping resign during protests against controls that confine millions of people to their homes. The government made no comment on the protests or criticism of Xi, the most widespread display of opposition […]
1 day ago
FILE - Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko talks with US President George W.Bush, at the NATO Sum...
Associated Press

14 years on, NATO to renew a vow to Ukraine

BUCHAREST (AP) — NATO returns on Tuesday to the scene of one of its most controversial decisions, intent on repeating its vow that Ukraine — now suffering through the 10th month of a war against Russia — will join the world’s biggest military alliance one day. NATO foreign ministers will gather for two days at […]
1 day ago
This photo mad available by Ukrainian doctor Oleh Duda shows the moment when lights at a hospital w...
Associated Press

Surgeons work by flashlight as Ukraine power grid battered

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Dr. Oleh Duda, a cancer surgeon at a hospital in Lviv, Ukraine, was in the middle of a complicated, dangerous surgery when he heard explosions nearby. Moments later, the lights went out. Duda had no choice but to keep working with only a headlamp for light. The lights came back when […]
1 day ago
Sheree Perry of Virginia Beach, center, prays with chaplains at a memorial on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022...
Associated Press

City to hold vigil honoring those killed in Walmart shooting

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The city of Chesapeake, Virginia, has scheduled a candlelight vigil for Monday evening that will honor and remember the victims of last week’s mass shooting at a Walmart store. Six employees were killed and six people were wounded by a store supervisor late Tuesday night in the city of about 250,000 […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Census shows less white Texas ahead of redistricting fight