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Census Quick Cuts: Katrina's Impact and a Demographic Hurricane Census Quick Cuts: Katrina's Impact and a Demographic Hurricane

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Politics

Census Quick Cuts: Katrina's Impact and a Demographic Hurricane

February 4, 2011

• Mississippi's population grew slightly, and the coastal areas hit by Hurricane Katrina did not lose as much population as was predicted in earlier Census estimates. The state's demographic mix remained more or less unchanged: whites dropped from 61 percent of the population to 58 percent, African Americans held on at 36 percent of the population, and Hispanics doubled to 2.7 percent of the population. In a highly racially polarized electorate, this means the state, which saw its congressional delegation shift from 3-to-1 Democrat to 3-to-1 Republican last election, is unlikely to swing back any time soon. The fastest-growing part of the state by far was DeSoto County in the Memphis suburbs, which grew by more than half.

All of these states saw an increase in their minority populations, both in absolute and relative terms. This will be the trend in most states, affecting how redistricting plays out, as minorities are protected under the Voting Rights Act.

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