The Census Bureau has released a new set of state maps that detail some of the recent data from the 2010 Census.
Here’s Oklahoma (click for larger version):
For a PDF of the same map, click here.
You can see other states here.
UPDATE: We have taken down this page with the interactive before/after maps. I apologize for any inconvenience. (8/15/11).
We’re in the home stretch of redistricting in the state House and Senate. I had a story today about the major changes to Senate District 43 that straddles Oklahoma and Cleveland counties.
With the help of Web Editor Nick Tankersley, I came up with a series of sliding redistricting maps on NewsOK that include party voter registration.
(Click on the image to go to the page)
In these maps, purple precincts are competitive. Light blue leans Democratic and dark blue is heavily Democratic. Light red leans Republican, while dark red is heavily Republican. I computed these categories by comparing the percentage-point difference in Republican voter registration to Democratic voter registration in each precinct.
I’ve added some links to this slightly extended and updated version of Sunday’s story on Senate redistricting:
BY PAUL MONIES
Some fast-growing suburbs of Oklahoma City and Tulsa won out in the latest legislative redistricting process that largely protected incumbents in the Senate.
For the first time, the Senate will have a district focused on the fast-growing Hispanic population. The Capitol Hill neighborhood on Oklahoma City’s south side will be part of Democratic Minority Leader Andrew Rice’s downtown district.
Redrawn boundary maps released in the closing weeks of the Legislature will have political implications in elections for the next decade, redistricting experts and lawmakers said.
“This is not a map that was drawn for the convenience of Democratic incumbent lawmakers, but there’s nothing illegal about that. This is politics,” said Keith Gaddie, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma. “You used to have a lot of senate districts come into the suburbs and pick up population and keep the rural lawmakers in place. The polarity has totally flipped now. All these districts are being pulled so deeply into the suburbs that suburban voters can dominate them.”
Republicans command majorities in the House and Senate, but differing approaches to the mapmaking in each chamber were evident last week as the plans were first considered.
At one point, Democrat Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, jokingly suggested senators could find a mentor in the House to resolve problems with the Senate map.
“In the House, people sat down and worked it out,” said Democrat Sen. Tom Adelson of Tulsa. “In the Senate, the Republicans seemed like they wanted to jam the boot in your neck.”
Adelson and Sen. Tom Ivester of Elk City were among two Senate Democrats who saw their districts change drastically under the new Senate map. Several Democratic senators in the northeastern part of the state also saw major changes.
But the moving of incumbents wasn’t limited to Democrats. In all, three GOP senators no longer live in their districts: Sen. Jim Reynolds of Oklahoma City; Sen. David Myers of Ponca City; and Sen. Rob Johnson of Kingfisher.
Myers, who is term limited in 2014, said he has no complaints. His mostly rural district lost more than 9,800 residents in the last decade.
“There’s just no way you could maintain that many senators in my rural area,” Myers said. “Since I was term-limited, who do you think they picked on? But I’m not unhappy. It’s a good district and will give me a chance to see some new folks in the next few years.”
Reynolds takes office as Cleveland County treasurer in July, so a special election will have to be held in District
33 43 under its current boundaries. In 2012, the district will move south to McClain and Stephens counties.
Adelson’s District 33 shifted from a mostly downtown Tulsa area to one in the southern and southeastern GOP suburbs. His house was placed in Republican Sen. Brian Crain’s redrawn district.
Adelson, who considers Crain a friend, said he plans to run for reelection in Crain’s District 39.
“I think I could compete,” Adelson said. “Some of those precincts have good Democratic numbers.”
Ivester’s district flipped from the southwest to one stretching from western Oklahoma to Canadian County. It now includes Republican Sen. Rob Johnson’s house in Kingfisher. Johnson plans to move to his redrawn district, which now includes parts of Edmond.
Long odds for Democrats
Senate Democrats said they knew they faced long odds in getting districts redrawn to their liking. But Adelson said the hiring of a GOP political consultant poisoned the process. Karl Ahlgren was paid more than $127,000 for his redistricting advice to the Republican leadership since spring 2009, according to Senate financial records.
“Redistricting is political by nature, but at least people have had some modesty about it in the past,” Adelson said. “Their people were not interested in preserving the voice of Oklahomans, they were interested in increasing the Republican market share for personal benefit.”
Ahlgren’s firm, AH Strategies, ran the campaign of Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, who defeated Adelson in the 2009 mayoral race.
Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, the chairman of the Senate Redistricting panel, said the process can be emotionally charged.
“This is probably the most personal thing we do in the senate,” Jolley said.
Ahlgren has had a succession of consulting contracts with the Oklahoma Senate under current and former Republican leaders. Ahlgren, a former assistant secretary of the senate, also worked for U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn and former U.S. Sen. Don Nickles.
“As such, his knowledge of Oklahoma and the local communities of interest was valuable to the process,” Jolley said. “Members of both political parties consulted with Mr. Ahlgren and any allegations that Mr. Ahlgren actually drew lines are simply false. Lines were drawn under the direction of senators directly to the technical staff.”
The Senate spent $165,500 on redistricting in the last three years, said Jarred Brejcha, spokesman for Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman. That included Ahlgreen’s contracts, software and payroll for other employees.
In the House, former Republican Rep. Larry Ferguson served as an informal advisor to the redistricting process for “historical context” but was not paid, officials said. Including software, payroll and travel, the House spent $175,000 on redistricting since August 2010, said John Estus, spokesman for House Speaker Kris Steele.
Because any new map must comply with the federal Voting Rights Act to protect minority representation, that’s the first place mapmakers start, Jolley said.
“We had to draw those districts before we could do anything else, and we had to draw around those districts and that resulted in some funny looking maps in Oklahoma city and Tulsa,” he said. “That made the process more difficult but at then end of the day we’ve got maps that make sense that I believe the majority of members of both parties hopefully will support.”
The Senate map largely preserves Oklahoma City Sen. Constance Johnson’s District 48, a seat long held by an African-American. Still, Johnson said Friday on the Senate floor she wasn’t happy with losing part of her district to fellow Democratic Sen. Charlie Laster of Shawnee. Johnson said she may explore filing a lawsuit over the Senate plan.
In Tulsa, Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre’s District 11 lost more than 11,000 people since 2000. To retain the majority-minority status of that district, additional Hispanic precincts were moved in. McIntyre does not plan to run for reelection.
Rice said creating a new Hispanic majority-minority district in Oklahoma City isn’t yet a requirement under federal law. But he said Senate redistricting leaders wanted to be ahead of the demographic changes on the city’s south side. Rice gave up several urban neighborhoods in his current District 46 to make that happen.
“It’s sad to lose them, but I’m excited to get new parts of downtown and the Capitol Hill neighborhood, which has such a rich history and is evolving in interesting ways,” Rice said.
Rice said his hope is that part of town could eventually be represented by a Hispanic senator.
To use it, you’ll need to unzip it and have access to a GIS program such as ArcGIS or QGIS. Or you can set up a free account at GeoCommons. They have some good instructions here. To make this kind of map more useful, you’ll need to add some information to it, such as demographic information or voter registration information. (I’m working on adding some of that data in GeoCommons, but can’t promise it will be up very quickly.)
Meanwhile, redistricting over in the Senate has been a little more contentious. But here’s hoping they follow the House’s lead on transparency and release the data behind the plan they’re working on.
Click for map
Newly posted on the Oklahoma House website this morning.
Here’s the statewide map (minus the Panhandle):
Here’s the inset for the urban areas:
They’ve also got plenty of smaller, more detailed maps on the site here. I’ll have more on this later.
From Sunday’s paper:
BY PAUL MONIES
Published: May 1, 2011
Minority children are now the majority among children in 11 Oklahoma counties, including Oklahoma County, the state’s largest county.
That’s a big change from a decade ago, when just four** Oklahoma counties had “majority-minority” child populations.
Hispanic children and children of two or more races accounted for most of the state’s under-18 population growth in the last decade, according to an analysis of census data by The Oklahoman.
Also, the racial gap has widened between children and adults, another indication of a demographic shift that could change the face of Oklahoma. In almost half of the state’s counties, the gap between the share of white adults and white children exceeds the statewide average of 17 percentage points.
William Frey, a demographer at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, calls the differences between child and adult populations a “racial generation gap.” Oklahoma ranked sixth in the United States for the largest racial generation gap. Arizona was first.
“Change in the nation’s child population over the 2000s show the sharp distinction between the country’s aging white population and its growing, youthful new minority populations,” Frey said in a recent report. “These gaps could signal emerging cultural and political divisions across generations.”
Overall, 44 percent of Oklahoma’s children were minorities in 2010. That compared to 27 percent of adults who identified themselves as minorities. In 2000, minority children made up 35 percent of the child population. Almost 23 percent of adults were minorities.
For the analysis, minorities were anyone not identifying themselves or people in their household on census forms as white. Hispanics can be of any race, according to U.S. Census Bureau definitions.
Some of the demographic changes could be attributed to how people report race and ethnicity, said Patricia Bell, a sociology professor at Oklahoma State University.
“Some of that is not necessarily population growth or change, it’s re-identification where people identify themselves differently,” Bell said. “Sometimes when you have a couple who are of different races, they leave the race of a child blank on the form and the Census Bureau makes the assignment.”
Other changes could come from migration or differences in birthrates in rural or poverty-stricken areas, Bell said. Some white and black college graduates with children have left the state for job opportunities in the last decade. Also, the Hispanic growth in Oklahoma has been rapid, but the share of Hispanics in the state remains lower than neighbors such as Kansas and Texas, she said.
“It can be a combination of migratory patterns for women and children as well as birthrate,” Bell said. “People who have a multiracial background are more likely than before to identify themselves in some category that they didn’t use before.”
Changing child demographics
In the last decade, the number of children in Oklahoma increased by 4 percent to almost 930,000. By contrast, the adult population grew 10 percent to 2.82 million.
Oklahoma was among 27 states that had increases in their child populations.
Among children in Oklahoma, the growth was uneven across the state. The child population grew in 36 counties and fell in 41 counties.
The child populations in Canadian, McClain, Marshall, Logan and Wagoner counties all grew by more than 20 percent. It fell by more than 20 percent in Tillman, Grant and Cimarron counties.
Since 2000, the number of Hispanic children (of any race) grew by more than 62,000, or 89 percent.
At the same time, the number of children of two or more races grew by almost 27,000, or 49 percent, and the number of Asian children increased by 4,400, or 41 percent.
The number of American Indian children grew by more than 6,300, or 7 percent.
To contrast that, the state’s population of white children fell by nearly 57,000, or 10 percent, during the last decade. The number of black children fell by more than 6,700, or 8 percent.
In his report, Frey said similar shifts are happening across the country.
“Slower growth among whites owes in part to their lower fertility rate — about 1.9 births per white woman, compared with 3.0 births per Hispanic woman — as well as a relatively low contribution to population growth from immigration,” he wrote.
Child advocates said the demographic shifts among children have policy implications in Oklahoma.
“If we want a progressive, educated and healthy workforce, we have to look at the demographics within our state and assure that we have the needs to move forward to where we want Oklahoma to be,” said Linda Terrell, executive director of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.
Terrell said one of the biggest needs is educational support for bilingual programs. She cited a recent case of a woman in Cleveland County whose daughter had been treated for chronic earaches. Once a translator became involved, it turned out the woman wasn’t following medicine instructions.
“Once we got that language barrier taken care of, the baby was better,” Terrell said. “That’s just one kind of extra supports we need to make sure our children are cared for properly.”
**The four counties in 2000: Adair, Cherokee, Harmon and Muskogee.
The Legislature has two big jobs this year: balance the state’s budget and redraw the boundary lines for Congress and the state Senate and House.
So far, it’s been fairly quiet on the redistricting front, at least publicly. But behind the scenes, you can be sure there’s a lot going on.
The “easy” part–Congressional redistricting–is on its way to completion. Unlike a decade ago when the state lost a seat, the congressional plan was easier this year because Oklahoma stayed at five seats. The House approved a congressional redistricting bill earlier this week. Here’s what the proposed map looks like, according to House Bill 1527: (click for larger version)
A closer look at the map shows there are not a lot of differences between the current congressional district lines and the proposed changes. Essentially, the state’s lone Democrat, Rep. Dan Boren in the 2nd Congressional District, now gets Marshall County on the Texas border and
gives up gains some suburban Tulsa territory in Rogers County. There also are some changes to Rep. Tom Cole’s 4th District and Rep. James Lankford’s 5th District, mostly around Tinker Air Force Base. Rep. Frank Lucas picks up more population in fast-growing (and solidly Republican) Canadian County, courtesy of Cole. Around Tulsa, the 1st District’s Rep. John Sullivan picks up a little territory to the west in Creek County.
If you want to try making your own map, check out the free site, Daves Redistricting. Without any nods to current allegiances, politics or the Voting Rights Act, I made my own quick-and-dirty version of congressional redistricting. I had one requirement for my map: each district had to stay within the county lines.
My take: It’s a lot harder than it looks.
Even with all the tools available on Daves Redistricting site, I managed to leave out about 900 people, who have effectively been disenfranchised by my map. (A court would surely throw out my plan!) Also, I have Lankford’s 5th District (yellow below) with about 10,000 more residents than it should have. Ideally, each congressional district should have 750,270 people, according to the latest Census data. Lucas’ 3rd District is in purple, Cole’s 4th District is in red, Boren’s 2nd District is green and Sullivan’s 1st District is in blue.
Here’s my map: (click for larger version)
Under my map, all of Oklahoma and Logan counties are now in the 5th District. Boren’s 2nd District moves westward on its southern section, picking up Ardmore. Cole gets all of Canadian County and Pottawatomie County. Lankford gets the so-called “Tinker Notch” in Oklahoma County. To replace the loss of Canadian County, Lucas takes in population north of Tulsa and in northeastern Oklahoma.
For some more Oklahoma congressional redistricting options, check out this message board for political map junkies.
Lawmakers now have about five weeks left in the session to complete the harder redistricting task for the state House and Senate. Capitol reporter Michael McNutt has an update on that here.
The main things to watch for in legislative redistricting are how they will redistrict seats with declining rural populations and which seats are held by term-limited lawmakers. Oklahoma Watchdog has more on that here.
You can also try your hand at redrawing legislative districts at Daves Redistricting. I haven’t tried that option, yet, but it doesn’t seem like an easy task. Each new House district should have about 37,142 residents. Under House rules, you’re allowed to deviate from those ideal numbers no more than plus or minus 3 percent, or about 1,100 people. Ideally, each new Senate district should have 78,153 residents.
For more on redistricting in general, check out the following sites:
- Oklahoma House of Representatives Redistricting
- National Conference of State Legislatures Redistricting
- U.S. Census: Redistricting Data
- Redistricting the Nation
- Election Data Services
- Brennan Center for Justice: A Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting
- The Redistricting Game
The U.S. Census Bureau today finished rolling out redistricting population totals from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It had until April 1 to do so, meaning it finished a little ahead of schedule.
The Census also released some new information on where the population center of the United States is now. That’s the point where if the country were a flat sheet of paper, it would balance according to population. (That also assumes each person is the same weight.) Here’s their map of that new point, near Plato in southern Missouri, and how the population center has shifted over time.
The agency also released similar information for all the states. Oklahoma’s population center for 2010 is just outside the town of Sparks in Lincoln County.
I created a map using GeoCommons for all the state centers of population. You can view it by clicking on the image below or going here.
The U.S. Census Bureau last week released the first batch of Oklahoma data from the 2010 Census. Here’s a list of what we covered in print and online:
- Oklahoma Census: State Hispanic population grows 85 percent since 2000
- Population growth in suburbs, declines in rural areas will have political ramifications
- New metro boom towns include Piedmont, Blanchard
We’ve added those stories to our existing Census continuing coverage page on NewsOK, too.
If you get a chance, check out the map I created using census data at the tract level for central Oklahoma. I pulled out eight central Oklahoma counties and plotted the growth for each census tract over the last decade. In this map, the size of the bubble shows how many people each tract added, with the smallest bubble representing a population decrease: (Adobe Flash required)
I also made another version, above, that shows the same information, but this time uses shaded census tracts instead of bubbles. I think the bubble map is easier to figure out, but if you think differently, let me know in the comments below.
In both of these maps, I went with the raw population change by census tract. I could have gone with percent change over the last decade, but there were some sparsely populated tracts that added (or lost) a handful of people, so that threw off the ranges of percent change. I went with the actual population change to get a better idea of just which census tracts these new residents were going to (or leaving).
I’m a big fan of Geocommons, the service I used to make those maps. One of the conditions of using their free (for now) service is that you have to make your data available to the public. Since all of this data originally came from the U.S. Census Bureau, you can search for “Oklahoma” in Geocommons and make your own maps based on the data and GIS files I uploaded to the site.
To get started, read this helpful user guide on the Geocommons site.
Finally, a big thanks goes out to Investigative Reporters & Editors and USA Today, who provided some of the population comparisons to the 2000 Census in the data I used. For more on what other papers are doing with their census data, check out Anthony DeBarros’ blog.
From Sunday’s paper:
By PAUL MONIES
pmonies (at) opubco.com
Three out of four Oklahoma counties showed increases in the last decade in the number of residents who were born outside the United States, with much of the growth coming in the Panhandle, western Oklahoma and metropolitan counties.
Nationally, Oklahoma ranked 32nd in the percentage of foreign-born residents, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2005-09.
About 5 percent of Oklahoma’s 3.75 million residents were born outside the United States. That compares to about 27 percent for California and almost 15 percent for Arizona. At 1.3 percent, West Virginia rounds out the bottom of the rankings.
An estimated 12.5 percent of the nation’s residents — 38.5 million people — were born in a foreign country, the Census Bureau said.
The latest estimates come amid a continuing political debate at the Capitol and across the country about immigration. The Census Bureau does not ask about the legal status of immigrants, meaning the foreign-born estimates include both documented and undocumented immigrants and naturalized citizens.
Foreign-born residents come from all over the world to Oklahoma and have a variety of skills, said Deidre Myers, director of policy, research and economic analysis with the state Commerce Department. Manufacturing, agricultural processing, technology and service industries are all attracting immigrants from foreign countries, she said.
Among Oklahoma’s estimated 190,000 residents who were born in foreign countries, 60 percent were from Latin American countries, the Census Bureau said. Another 24 percent were from Asian countries. About 8 percent hailed from Europe.
“Oklahoma is a dynamic economy, so why wouldn’t we have people from different areas looking for opportunity in Oklahoma?” Myers said.
Generally, counties west of Interstate 35 had higher rates of foreign-born residents than those in eastern Oklahoma, according to an analysis of census data by The Oklahoman. Exceptions to that were Tulsa County in the northeast and Marshall County on the state’s southern border.
“You see a lot of growth in the foreign-born population in those areas that have a very strong agricultural and manufacturing presence; of course we see this in western Oklahoma and the Panhandle,” Myers said.
“A second area that people don’t often think about is that we’ve had a lot of foreign-born growth in high-skilled research and development, biosciences, nanosciences and other kinds of very high-tech positions. We’re seeing this kind of growth in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Cleveland counties, where you have a university or a very strong knowledge-based industry cluster.”
Texas County, which held the state’s top spot in foreign-born residents in 2000, stayed at the top in the latest estimates. The foreign-born population in that Panhandle county rose to 21.3 percent from 16.9 percent in 2000. Many immigrants have been drawn to hog processor Seaboard Corp., which has more than 3,000 employees at its Guymon plant.
Remaining in second place was another Panhandle county, Cimarron County, which had 11.5 percent of its residents from foreign countries in the 2005 to 2009 Census estimates. That’s up from 10.3 percent in 2000.
Blaine County appeared to show the largest growth in foreign-born residents in the last decade. An estimated 9.5 percent of its residents were born outside the United States. That compared to 3.5 percent in 2000.
Craig Cummins, superintendent of Watonga Public Schools, said many recent immigrants have found work on oil and gas rigs. Elsewhere in the county are dog food and gypsum wallboard factories.
“Our Hispanic population is our fastest-growing ethnic group,” said Cummins, who has been Watonga superintendent for eight years. “It is a challenge sometimes for classroom teachers, but the kids are accepted and they do give back to the school system. They provide some cultural experiences and they participate in our extracurricular activities.”
Farther south, Marshall County’s percentage of foreign-born residents rose to 7.4 percent in the latest estimates, up from 5 percent in 2000.
Light manufacturing for horse trailers and agricultural equipment has been a steady part of the industrial base in Marshall County for a number of years and has attracted immigrants, said Chris Moore, a board member with the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce.
Moore, a personal banker at Landmark Bank in Madill, said several tellers speak Spanish to help customers.
“We have a large Hispanic customer base, and not having Spanish-speaking employees, we would definitely lose that,” Moore said. “It’s important to our business now.”