Monday, February 14, 2011

Local Census Numbers to be Released this Week

Last summer I wrote an article describing the upcoming re-districting process and some of the potential implications of the 2010 census report.

The implications are significant. The north Oklahoma and Logan county areas are exploding in residential growth and the 2010 census should reflect that growth.

Proceeding the 2010 census, Logan County officials were asked to update the census map to show the new residential locations which needed to be counted that were not on the Census Bureau's list of houses. The county took this task very seriously and reported hundreds of new home sites that were not listed in the previous census. This work demonstrated the growth and helped ensure that the new census properly reflects the explosive residential construction.

Impacts include increased local road funding, additional representation in state government and a much stronger demographic base which will serve to attract new business investment.

A Census Bureau report is scheduled to be released this week and will include Oklahoma and four other states. The Census Bureau will first provide the report to the Governor, Speaker of the House, Speaker Pro-Temp of the Senate and Representatives of the minority political party in the House and Senate. After the bureau receives confirmation that these officials are in possession of the data, it will be released to the public.

In last year’s article I stated that the growth in Logan County and north Oklahoma County will require House District 31 to get smaller. Following the 2000 census, Oklahoma House districts were required to include approximately 34,000 people. Because of the growth in the state over the last 10 years, the 2010 redistricting plan will require each House district be drawn to include 37,000 people.

I suspect that the current population of House District 31 now includes more than the 37,000 which will be required by the new re-districting plan. As you might imagine, I am anxious to see the new numbers.

Within the next four months, a legislative redistricting plan will reduce the size of the district. Parts of the current district will potentially be picked up by surrounding rural districts which will be forced to expand to include new residents to meet the 37,000 resident requirement.

I plan to send out the new census numbers for Logan County and House District 31 through my Twitter account @JWMurphey shortly after their release later this week.

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