January 5, 2011

The 2010 Congressional Reapportionment and Latinos

II. Reapportionment Gains and Hispanic Population Growth

Based on results of the 2010 Census, eight states—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington—will gain congressional seats and Electoral College votes. Texas will gain four, Florida two, and all others one. Ten states will lose seats—Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. New York and Ohio will lose two and all others one (Census Bureau, 2010).

Overall Latinos represent a greater share of eligible voter and resident populations in states that will gain seats than they do in states that will lose seats. Among eligible voters, in states that will gain seats 15.2% are Latino, while in states that will lose seats just 5.4% are Latino. Among resident populations, 23.6% is Latino in states that will gain seats compared with 8.4% in states that will lose seats.

In Texas, Latinos account for one-in-four (25.5%) of the state’s eligible voters and 36.9% of the state’s population. In Florida, Latinos account for one-in-seven (15%) of the state’s eligible voters and 21.5% of the state’s population. And in Arizona and Nevada, Hispanics represent 19.7% and 14.1% of eligible voters respectively.

Many of the states that gained congressional seats did so partly because of rapid population growth among Hispanics. Texas’ population increased by nearly four million, or by 21%, between 2000 and 2010. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of that growth came from growth in the state’s Hispanic population, which increased by almost 2.5 million.5 In Florida, Hispanic population growth accounted for more than half (51%) of the state’s population growth through this decade. Even in states with smaller Hispanic populations, Hispanics accounted for a large share of population growth. In Georgia, Hispanics accounted for 23.2% of the state’s growth. In South Carolina, Hispanics accounted for 19.8% of the state’s growth.

Even in states that lost congressional seats, Latinos contributed significantly to population gains, possibly limiting reapportionment losses. For instance, in New York, 72% of the population growth this decade came from the Latino population. In New Jersey, the state’s population would likely have declined without Hispanic population growth. And in Michigan, Latino population growth kept the state’s population from declining even more than it did.

  1. The Census Bureau has not issued state population counts by race and ethnicity from the 2010 Census. However, the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) provides the most recent state population estimates by race and ethnicity. Latino population estimates from the 2009 ACS are used throughout this report.