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Calling a Republican redraw of Texas House districts "retrogressive," Democratic Rep. Garnet Coleman of Houston said it doesn’t reflect the state’s growing minority population.
From 2000 to 2010, "close to 90 percent of the population growth in Texas was non-Anglo, yet this map reduces the number of districts where communities of color can elect their candidate of choice," he said in an April 28 press release. That day, the GOP-dominant House approved the revisions, which Coleman says eliminates one district in which Hispanics make up the majority of registered voters, sending the plan to the Senate.
We’re not going to weigh in on whether the map disenfranchises voters. But we wondered whether he correctly pegged the state’s non-Anglo population growth.
In April 2010, the Democratic Lone Star Project similarly said the state was expected to gain congressional seats "almost entirely due to the growth of the African American and Hispanic populations in Texas in virtually every region of the state." We rated that Mostly True, finding that Hispanic growth seemed likely to deserve credit for Texas gaining seats, but that would be uncertain until the 2010 Census was complete.
One year later, it is. And responding to our request for evidence to support Coleman’s claim, Joe Madden, Coleman’s chief of staff, pointed us to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to the 2010 Census, Texas grew 20.6 percent in the decade. It was the fifth fastest-growing state behind Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho. By raw numbers alone, Texas’ population increased by about 4.3 million people. California, which retained the largest population, increased by 3.4 million.
How much of Texas’ population growth was due to non-Anglos?
According to census data, in 2000, about 9.9 million minorities — people who reported their ethnicity and race as something other than non-Hispanic white — accounted for 47.6 percent of the state’s population. From 2000 to 2010, the minority population swelled by 3.8 million, accounting for 54.7 percent of the population — and also making minorities responsible for about 89 percent of the state’s growth through the decade.
According to a Feb. 18 Austin American-Statesman news article analyzing the new census data, Latinos accounted for two-thirds of Texas' growth over the decade and made up 37.6 percent of the state's total population through 2010, while blacks made up 11.5 percent of the growth.
Robert Bernstein, a Census Bureau spokesman, told us that Coleman was "pretty much on the mark."
We rate Coleman’s statement as True.
Statement from Rep. Coleman on redistricting map passed by the House, April 28, 2011
Redistricting letter from Rep. Coleman to U.S. Department of Justice, April 29, 2011
U.S. Census Bureau, Population distribution and change: 2000 to 2010, issued March 2011
U.S. Census Bureau, Overview of race and Hispanic origin: 2010, issued March 2011
Austin American-Statesman, Minorities drive population surge throughout Texas; Hispanics and Asians account for 71 percent of Austin’s increase, Feb. 18 , 2011
Interview with Joe Madden, chief of staff for state Rep. Garnet Coleman, May 2, 2011
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