Redrawing the map: what to expect from the Minnesota redistribution

Births, deaths and permanent residents change every year, in every city and every decade.

It’s the job of the US Census to account for these decennial changes and create a snapshot of the US population.

From the official population counts, mandated by the United States Constitution, new legislative lines are drawn so that every resident has more equal representation through their representative – and lawmakers, in turn, have a better idea of ​​the amount of taxpayer money that should go to a specific geographic area. Region.

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The redistribution process has already started in Minnesota, and while the lines are far from final, the demographics roughly tell the direction of legislative power in the state.

Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographer and Director of the Minnesota State Demographic Center, said initial census data released over the summer provides lawmakers with a basic understanding of where people live, from their basic racial group information and whether they are over 18. , all important information that constituency committees need to draw their new maps.

Susan Brower, <a class=State of Minnesota Demographer, File Photo. (submitted)” width=”1140″ height=”-1″/>

Susan Brower, State of Minnesota Demographer, File Photo. (submitted)

“Our role in the redistribution process is to make sure people understand the data and demographic trends that have occurred over the past decade so that the people who draw the maps can do their jobs,” Brower said.

According to the center, between 2010 and 2020, Minnesota added 402,569 residents, for a total of 5,706,494 statewide, a 7.6% increase. Additionally, all of the population increase has come from Black, Native, and Colored (BIPOC) people as Minnesota’s non-Hispanic white population has lost 51,321 in the past 10 years.

The non-Hispanic white group still made up the largest share, 73.6%, of the state’s total population in 2020, with BIPOC communities accounting for 23.7% of Minnesota residents. In 2010, non-Hispanic whites made up 83.1% of the state’s population, with BIPOC communities accounting for 16.9% of the state’s total, which is a decrease of nearly 10% in the non-white population. Hispanic for the past decade.

The seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area has accounted for 78%, or 313,537 residents, of Minnesota’s total population growth over the past 10 years.

Minnesota's population changes by congressional district from 2010 to 2020. (screenshot)

Minnesota’s population changes by congressional district from 2010 to 2020. (screenshot)

In terms of redistribution, in 2010, the ideal number of residents to represent in Congress was 662,991. For the new 2020 Congress maps, the ideal number of inhabitants per district will be 713,312, an increase of 50,321 per district. congressional district.

However, not all of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts have grown at the same rate.

The Congressional Districts of the Metro Twin Cities have grown from 63,486 to 74,908 people over the past 10 years, while the remote districts, CD-1, CD-7 and CD-8, have increased only from 10,523 to 27,735 inhabitants during the same period. In order to achieve the ideal number of representations with the new 2020 maps, the outlying districts will have to become even larger than they are currently, adding between 23,000 and 40,000 inhabitants, most likely areas located on the outskirts of the cities. urban centers.

Brower also pointed out that Minnesota kept its eight-member delegation to Congress only 26 people counted.

“Imagine how big the districts would have been, with about 100,000 more people (each), if we hadn’t kept them,” she said.

State Senate districts will need to add approximately 6,000 residents per district to achieve the ideal representation number (85,172 residents per district) recommended by the Population Center, but, of the 67 Senate districts of Minnesota in total, only 30 had more than 6,000 residents added to their total population in the 2020 census. This means 37 Senate districts will need to be expanded when the new maps are drawn.

Evolution of the population of Minnesota from 2010 to 2020 (screenshot)

Evolution of the population of Minnesota from 2010 to 2020 (screenshot)

Evolution of the population of Minnesota by county from 2010 to 2020 (screenshot)

Evolution of the population of Minnesota by county from 2010 to 2020 (screenshot)

David Schultz, professor of political science at Hamline University in St. Paul, said the exodus from rural to more urban areas has been a continuous movement for 100 years, across the country and into Minnesota.

“One hundred years ago, the majority of seats in Minnesota were rural,” Schultz said. “The congressional seats have more likely favored the rural area, and what is happening is that it is gravitating now, and it is accelerating even faster… that we are seeing such huge growth in the metropolitan area. “

Schultz also pointed out that Minnesota is now more diverse than it has ever been in its history, and that diversity creates pressure on redistribution authorities to keep these communities as whole as possible.

Minnesota CD7 population change by race from 2010 to 2020 (submitted)

Minnesota CD7 population change by race from 2010 to 2020 (submitted)

“Once they draw the boundaries of the neighborhood, I’m going to make a guess and I don’t know what the answer is yet, but the metro area might take three, four, or five house seats, it might take two. or three Senate seats … but it’s going to come at the expense of Greater Minnesota, “Schultz said,” and in Congress I might see a scenario emerge where it now becomes, essentially, say six metro-area seats, one north of Minnesota a seat for rural areas and a seat in southern Minnesota for rural areas, and again, this is simply the gradual exhaustion of political power and influence, and it will continue to s ‘accelerate.”

Current party polarization also plays a role in political power dynamics, he said, with the DFL losing areas of Greater Minnesota and Republicans losing urban and suburban areas.

“As I like to say, it’s called the Democratic-Farmers-Labor Party, but there isn’t a lot of labor and there aren’t many farmers left in the Democratic Party,” he said. Schultz said.

He also said demographic shifts and new constituency lines could help Democrats make up for the rollback midway through the 2022 election.

“Even in a year that is unlikely to be in the (Democrats’) favor… the president’s party generally does not fare well in the midterm elections, it could save Democrats from holding the (Minnesota) House and it could allow Democrats to overthrow the Senate, “Schultz said.” Candidates still matter, messages still matter, etc., etc., but the redistribution has a major impact on controlling the state legislature. “

While redistribution committees are tasked with the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate with proposing the new cards, the Minnesota court system has ruled on the final cards for the past several decades. Schultz said the courts in Minnesota had made only marginal changes to the cards in the most recent redesigns, and this time the cards may need a much bigger overhaul than usual.

Minnesota State Representative Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown, chair of the Minnesota House Redistricting Committee, is serving her 23rd term in the Minnesota House of Representatives and participating in her fifth legislative reshuffle. She said that a challenge has already been filed in state court for the redistribution lines that had not even been finalized yet.

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea appointed a panel of five judges in June to deal with issues arising from the redistribution process. The judges met and held public events statewide in an effort to anticipate many of the issues that may arise from the process. The results of these events and submissions can be viewed on the State Court’s website.

“(The panel) is doing a sort of parallel thing to what the House (of Minnesota) does and what the Senate does,” Murphy said.

When asked if Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District could get much bigger, Murphy replied, “Yes, he can, and he has to.”

Percentage change in Minnesota's population as a percentage from 2010 to 2020. MN CD7.  (screenshot)

Percentage change in Minnesota’s population as a percentage from 2010 to 2020. MN CD7. (screenshot)

Minnesota Population Change by Congressional District.  MN CD7.  2020. (screenshot)

Minnesota Population Change by Congressional District. MN CD7. 2020. (screenshot)

“What we’ve heard is that people want an open, transparent process so that they know what’s going on and that they have a chance to answer the lines before they’re voted on by the representatives, ”Murphy said. “I hope we get a committee bill approved by both Democrats and Republicans.”

She also said that if Minnesota wanted to move its redistribution process to an independent commission, a new statute would have to be approved by the legislature and signed by the governor before the 2030 census begins.

The Minnesota House Redistricting Committee is expected to reveal its congressional district plan on Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. If you would like to watch the proceedings, they can be viewed through House Television’s webcast. No formal debate or action is planned at the meeting and public testimony on the measure will take place on December 1 and 2.

If you’d like to try your hand at redrawing Minnesota legislative maps, Our Maps MN has provided an interactive tool for anyone to create their own resident groups within the state.


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