March 31, 2008
The Census and the Congress

News item: Texas cities on top in population growth.

The Houston metropolitan area ranked fourth in the nation for overall population growth between 2006 and 2007, according to new census data -- an increase demographers attributed largely to the region's economy.

The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area attracted slightly more than 120,500 new residents from July 2006 through July 2007, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released today for geographic regions known as metropolitan statistical areas.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area ranked No. 1 in the nation in terms of raw population growth, and Austin-Round Rock and San Antonio also made the top 10. Karl Eschbach, director of the Texas State Data Center in San Antonio, said the job market and economy are driving the state's population growth.

"It's the combination of international and domestic migration that's pushing Texas cities to the top," Eschbach said.

Back in January, I blogged about the projections by Election Data Services that said Texas was in line for four new Congressional seats in the 2010 reapportionment. I projected that Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Central Texas, and South Texas would be the likely locations for those new seats. Clearly, nothing in this story contradicts that. Feel free to start speculating about who'll be in the best position to become our 33rd through 36th Congresspeople.

By the way, let me add my endorsement to the concept of a bigger Congress, which is a subject I've discussed before as well. Three hundred thousand residents per representative sounds dandy to me.

(Cross-posted from Kuff's World.)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 31, 2008 to Show Business for Ugly People

Not sure if you're aware of the issue, but some fascinating research has been don on the effects of prisoners on the census. They're counted where they're housed, not where they're from, so Houston's inmates are counted in Huntsville and Palestine, e.g., and the 600 the Harris Jail has in a private facility are counted in Louisiana. Nationally this serves to overestimate population in rural areas significantly, and there's a (so far uphill) push to get the census to change its methodology.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast on March 31, 2008 7:36 AM

I completely missed your post from last January. Thanks for the credit.

On that post, I don't agree that a new DFW district would likely be Republican. The current DFW map is pretty darn close to illegal. (If I were the judge, I would declare it illegal.) In the 2000 census, there were roughly 1.6 million minorities in Dallas and Tarrant Counties. However, there is only one DFW minority district, which is an enormous dilution already. I think that if the Republicans were to push this type of map again, then it might get tossed out in the courts.

I talked to a UTA political science professor at the SD 10 convention, and he said that the conventional wisdom is that DFW will get a South Dallas-Grand Prairie minority district. (Think Martin Frost without inter-city Dallas and Fort Worth). My guess is that they would add in East Arlington to make it even more minority based.

Of course, if I were drawing map, then I would draw two safe blue Dallas districts and one purple trending blue Tarrant district. So, that should give you some idea of how important this stuff is.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area ranked No. 1 in the nation in terms of raw population growth ...

There is a fairly large caveat to that statement. Dallas itself isn't growing at all. It's really the surrounding areas. Furthermore, Collin, Denton, Rockwall, etc. are growing like weeds.

Even though I don't have a sig ...

Wendy Davis for Texas Senate

Posted by: blank on March 31, 2008 10:15 PM