The Texas Legislative Study Group (LSG) Caucus released a report and analysis of the recently-released 2020 census data. The report primarily focuses on the population growth patterns of different racial groups and the implications that this growth would have on redistricting.
Over the past decade, Texas’ population has grown by more than 4 million, more than any other state over the same period. The LSG report points out that over 95% of that population growth is for communities of color, chiefly the Hispanic community which makes up nearly 50% of the total population growth. The Black and Asian communities made up 14.7% and 15.4% of the population growth. The non-Hispanic white population accounts for only 4.7% of the population growth, despite making up nearly 40% of the state’s total population.
Texas’ huge population boom has resulted in the state being awarded two additional congressional districts. Because nearly all of the state’s population growth has come from communities of color, the LSG suggests that both new congressional districts should be drawn to represent communities of color. If the districts are not drawn to represent communities of color, the LSG claims that would show a clear intention to disenfranchise those communities.
Because of the delay in the release of the census data, it is unknown when redistricting will occur. Texas law states that redistricting should occur at the first regular session after the release of census data. That would have been this spring, but due to the delay, the next regular session won’t be until 2023. Despite the law, Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that he will call a special legislative session for redistricting.
The Texas Legislative Study Group is an official caucus made up of members from both chambers of the Texas Legislature that provides nonpartisan policy analysis and support to the Texas Legislature.