Census 2020 Data Shows Southern Californians Continue To Identify As More Diverse, Less White
It’s the most consequential process that impacts citizens’ representation in government and determines whose voices are heard by elected officials.
And it’s getting far less attention than, say, a certain gubernatorial recall going on right now.
You guessed it: Redistricting. (Cue the hype music.)
That’s the once-a decade process of drawing new district lines for every electoral jurisdiction — including city council and the U.S. Congress.
But that can’t take place without up-to-date population numbers from around the country. On Thursday, the U.S. Census Bureau released local data for the 2020 Census — vital information about who lives where, their ages, and racial and ethnic identities.
Here are some of our initial takeaways:
SoCal’s Population Continues To Look More Diverse
Southern California saw more growth in people who identify as Latino or Hispanic, and Asian, while the proportion of L.A. County residents who identified as “White Alone” dropped from just over half in 2010 to about a third in 2020.
L.A County’s population growth slowed overall: the county grew about 1.9% in the past decade, down from 3.1% reported in the 2010 Census.
Inland Counties Like Riverside And San Bernardino Are Growing Fast
Take a look at the population growth of Southern California counties over the past decade and you can see why Los Angeles area members of Congress have reason to be nervous.
The process of drawing new electoral maps to even out the distribution of the population in each district is ramping up. Public meetings are underway for Californians to share input about their neighborhoods, or “communities of interest,” with redistricting commissions, which are in charge of crafting the new boundaries.
By the end of this year, or early January, there will be new borders for all of California’s assembly, state senate, congressional, county supervisor, school district boards, and city council districts.
We know already that California will lose a House seat for the first time in its history, as other states’ population growth outstrips the Golden State. The L.A. area is a prime target to see a seat evaporate. For example, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard’s 40th District in southeast L.A., including Downey, Huntington Park and East L.A., saw the greatest population decline of any California House seat, losing 12,600 people.
Meanwhile, the rapid growth continues in inland counties such as Riverside and San Bernardino.
If you want to share input with redistricting officials about your community, the statewide California Citizens Redistricting Commission has upcoming meetings and more information here.
This is a developing story and will be updated.