Photo: Hispanic Population Jumps Ahead of African-American Causing Shift in Influence
As the number of Hispanics in the U.S. continues to grow, the influence the community has is over shadowing that of another minority group, African-Americans.
In America’s third-largest city, Chicago, the black population dropped 17 percent (181,000 people) over the last decade, while the Hispanic population rose by 3.3 percent (about 25,000 people).
The shift in population in Chicago is only a snapshot of a nationwide trend as the U.S. black population dropped 12.6 percent, and the Hispanic population rose 16.3 percent. The average household income for Hispanics rose to $40,946 over the last decade, while it sits at $34,445 for the black community.
Black lawmakers in Illinois and other states have managed to hold onto most legislative and congressional districts by giving up their supermajority numbers. The proportion of blacks in Davis’s district will drop to just more than 50 percent from 65 percent, according to a map approved by the Illinois General Assembly on May 31.
The mapmakers didn’t eliminate the growing tension between blacks and Hispanics, who are pushing for boundaries they say would better reflect their population gains.
Demographers and political analysts expected the past two rounds of redistricting to produce a “bloodbath” between blacks and Hispanics, said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the Los Angeles-based National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. That didn’t happen in part because the Hispanic population still has a higher percentage both of non- citizens and young people who aren’t old enough to vote, Vargas said.
“Our potential electorate is much smaller right now,” he said. “We don’t yet have the potential electorate to draw these lines.”