New county estimates offer 2020 Census preview

The 2019 county population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau are the last set of population estimate before results of the 2020 Census are released in early 2021. Here’s what they tell us about how counties have changed in North Carolina over the past decade. Growth and Decline Statewide, North Carolina has maintained steady growth since the 2010 Census, but this growth has been uneven across the state: 57 counties have grown since 2010 –…

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What 8th graders (and others) want to know about the Census

Last year, I wrote that the census “is kind of like the Super Bowl for demographers, if the Super Bowl only took place once a decade.” Over the past few months, Carolina Demography has been ramping up for the 2020 Census. We worked with the NC Counts Coalition to release a hard-to-count map for North Carolina. In addition, we’ve spoken at events across the state about the importance of the Census, how an undercount could…

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Why some Americans don’t trust the census

More than 4 million Americans may not be represented in the upcoming 2020 census. This is a problem, as the once-every-10-year census affects everything from federal funding to political representation to research projects that rely on accurate census data, like the ones my colleagues and I conduct at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The 2020 census is fraught with uncertainty for a variety of reasons, including a lack of money, a growing…

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Where are college students counted for the 2020 Census?

Across North Carolina, there are many communities impacted by the presence of a college or university. Where will these students be counted in the 2020 Census: at their school address or at their parents’ home? According to the Census Residence Criteria, students are counted at their “usual residence” or where they live and sleep “most of the time.” This means that college students are counted at their college address, either on or off campus. They should only be counted at their parents’ home if they are living and sleeping there most of the time. The Census Bureau provides detailed information on the Residence Criteria governing college students in section C.10.a-f of the census rules.

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Census 2020: Everything you need to know about North Carolina’s hard-to-count communities

A complete and accurate census count is incredibly important. The census shapes how billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed, how congressional seats are apportioned, and how communities plan for their future residents. But certain populations have historically been undercounted in the census, due to a variety of factors. Undercounting these communities skews the census data that’s used to ensure fair political representation and support community planning. To help North Carolina achieve a complete…

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Who gets counted in the 2020 Census?

Counting all residents is a complex undertaking. Who is counted? And how does the Census Bureau capture unique populations, such as the homeless or military personnel? These questions, and more, were asked last week at "Making NC Count," the first statewide convening by the NC Counts Coalition. Here's what you need to know: Is it a law that everyone gets counted? Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution mandates that the US take a Census…

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2020 Congressional Reapportionment: An Update

Every decade, following the decennial Census, the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are allocated to the 50 states based on their population. After the 2000 Census, 12 House seats shifted between the states; another 12 seats shifted after the 2010 Census. Two years ago, we explored how ongoing population shifts might impact the reapportionment process following the 2020 Census. At that time, the most recent population estimates were for 2014. Today we…

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U.S. Congressional District Population Estimates and Deviation from Ideal Population Size, 2014

Following the decennial Census, political districts, such as U.S. Congressional Districts and state legislative districts, are reapportioned to states and counties on the basis of population and their boundaries are redrawn in a process called redistricting. Broadly speaking, the goal of redistricting is to make each district as close in population size in possible. North Carolina is not the only state with uneven patterns of population growth. Across the United States, population is increasingly concentrated in urban and…

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Who Counts Overseas? Reapportionment & Interstate Conflict

States typically benefit from having as much representation in Congress as possible. Each state is guaranteed two Senators, but the number of representatives each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives is based on population size. Representatives are reapportioned to the states every ten years, following the release of population counts from the decennial census. As the number of seats in the House of Representatives is fixed at 435, any change in the number…

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2020 Reapportionment Will Shift Political Power South and West

December 21, 2017: This post provides an updated look at potential 2020 reapportionment shifts based on the July 1, 2017 population estimates. Every decade, following the decennial Census, the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are allocated to the 50 states on the basis of their population. After the 2000 Census, 12 House seats shifted between 18 states. Ten states lost at least one representative while eight states gained at least one representative.…

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