ND Population Change by Legislative District, Census 2020 (updated)

One of the key uses for the Census 2020 data released so far is redistricting. The data file is actually called the redistricting data. The mapping of legislative districts in the state will look similar to the county maps seen in the prior post. That said, it does reiterate the geography of the changes in population, which do result from changes in economic activity in the state since 2010.

Clearly the scale does not completely allow complete clarity of every district. Some of the biggest changes are in smaller districts in the Fargo and Bismarck metropolitan areas and so are not easy to see here. The fact remains that the western part of the state saw enormous increases in population compared to most of the rest of the state. Here is another representation.

There are some legislative districts with more than 100% increase in population. Not all districts are this way though. A few drop too, some by significant margins. Now the North Dakota Constitution (Article 4, Section 2) says, “The legislative assembly shall fix the number of senators and representatives and divide the state into as many senatorial districts of compact and contiguous territory as there are senators.” Federal law says the districts must have nearly equal population. With these changes it seems likely that there will be significant changes in the look of the map. Perhaps a change in political gravity too? It would seem some more power to the west, though it is also the case the state population centered more on metropolitan and micropolitan areas after the 2020 census.

That amounts to two changes in the locus of population. Will this change electoral, and perhaps economic, dynamics? That is work still in progress.

Update (26 August)

The Census data used above for 2010 did not conform to the same mapping as did the 2020 data. I updated the data for this and include a new graph with the percentage changes by district. I was unaware of this until I talked to some Census folk.

We can see a few differences in the percentages and the locations, and there are certainly more counties in the negative end of the scale. The larger issues of more western population and more metro/micro area populations still hold.

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