With the release today of Census 2010 reapportionment data, an analysis conducted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund shows that the growth in Latino numbers is fueling the population increase in states which will gain seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The analysis suggests that the percentage increase in the Latino population during the last decade contributed significantly to the overall growth of such states as Texas, Florida, Arizona and Nevada (see Table 1).
NALEO Educational Fund Executive Director Arturo Vargas stated, “The growth of the Latino population is reshaping the political geography in states that are gaining Congressional seats. Even in states such as California, Illinois or New York, which are not gaining or are losing seats, the increase in Latino numbers has helped minimize Congressional losses.”
Today’s release of Census 2010 population data only determines the number of Congressional seats for each state. The Census Bureau will be releasing the data that states will be using to draw district lines on a rolling basis during February 2011 and March 2011.
Mr. Vargas continued, “The 2011 redistricting will map the future of our representative democracy for the next ten years. Those who are responsible for drawing district lines must recognize the growth of the Latino population, and new maps must ensure that Latinos can choose their elected leaders. The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) prohibits states from creating districts that may dilute and or divide the votes of Latinos and other under-represented groups. We call on all states to comply strictly with VRA requirements during the 2011 redistricting.”
Mr. Vargas concluded, “While we will not know the actual size of the nation’s Latino population until early next year, today’s numbers suggest that Latinos across the United States placed a high priority on being counted in the 2010 Census and of being full participants in the American political process. It is now time to make sure that Latinos can embrace the opportunity to translate those Census numbers into full and fair representation.”