Making Sense of North Louisiana Census, Politics And Redistricting
Written by  // Monday, 07 February 2011 17:56 //

Census senselessness?
    As befuddling as it may be to try and make sense of the U.S. Census numbers for 2010, it is, nevertheless, the figures the state Legislature will have to work with to redistrict Congressional and state legislative districts.
    Yes, it is the state Legislature that will determine where a Congressional district will be eliminated, not the members of the Congressional delegation.  And, yes, the Legislature will decide how state Senate and state House districts are reconfigured.

In northwest Louisiana, the big question is whether the 4th and 5th Congressional districts will be merged into one that spans the northern part of the state from the Texas to the Mississippi border.
    Another big question mark is how Bossier Parish will fit into the redistricting process of state legislative districts.  While Caddo  Parish’s population increased by 1.1%, Bossier’s population increased by a whopping 19%.
    How that fact will affect the state House districts that currently dip into Bossier and Senate District 37, which now has 53% of the registered voters to Bossier’s 47%, remains to be seen.
    To be sure, it is something that incumbents and potential legislative candidates will be closely watching.  Programmed into the mix will have to be the revelation that the city of Shreveport lost population over the last decade and now sits below the coveted 200,000 mark.
    The Census Bureau lists Shreveport’s population  at 199,311, down 0.4% from the 200,145 finalized in the 2000 Census.  That’s bad news for Shreveport because it could affect federal monies and a host of other benefits.
    Mayor Cedric Glover expressed dismay over the 2010 population figure, and it is likely that the City Council will join him in appealing the Census Bureau’s count.
    Glover said, “It is obviously disappointing to hear the initial count is less than 200,000.  I and others had actually hoped for a net increase in the city’s population.  At present, I am conferring with staff and the Council Chair regarding any possible challenge that the city might mount.”
    Just how accurate are the population figures compiled by the Census Bureau?  That is a good question.  It’s probably the best they can do, but it is likely a lot of persons were not counted either because they did not send in the Census form or because the Census workers were not diligent enough.
    Or more likely, some sources say, because so many of the uncounted are job-hopping deadbeat dads hiding behind or living in other’s addresses to evade child support.  They’re part of the 15% of U.S. multi-family households with transitional members and elderly relatives as tough economic times continue.
    If state Child Support Enforcement and immigration records, as well as Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) and Medicaid and Medicate lists were cross-referenced by client and address, and the information made public, undoubtedly Shreveport’s population would contain the less than 700 additional residents needed to reach the magic 200,000 mark denied by the Census.

By the numbers
    Here are the 2010 Census figures for area parishes, showing how much they grew or declined since 2000.  We are also providing the latest information on racial make-up.
Bossier Parish
    2010 Population: 116,979.  Racial make-up: White 72%, Black 21%, Other Races 7%.
    2000 Population: 98,310.  Racial make-up: White 75%, Black 21%, Other Races 4%.
    Bossier Parish’s population increased by 19%.
Caddo Parish
    2010 Population: 254,969.  Racial make-up: White 49%, Black 47%, Other Races 4%.
    2000 Population: 262,161.  Racial make-up: White 52%, Black 44%, Other Races 4%.
    Caddo Parish’s population increased by 1.1%.
Claiborne Parish
    2010 Population: 17,195.  Racial make-up: White 48%, Black 51%, Other Races 1%.
    2000 Population: 16,851.  Racial make-up: White 52%, Black 47%, Other Races 1%.
    Claiborne Parish’s population increased by 2%.
DeSoto Parish
    2010 Population: 26,656.  Racial make-up: White 58%, Black 39%, Other Races 3%.
    2000 Population: 25,494.  Racial make-up: White 56%, Black 42%, Other Races 2%.
    DeSoto Parish’s population increased by 4.6%.
Webster Parish
    2010 Population: 41,207.  Racial make-up: White 64%, Black 34%, Other Races 2%.
    2000 Population: 41,831.  Racial make-up: White 66%, Black 33%, Other Races 1%.
    Webster Parish’s population increased by 1.5%.
State of Louisiana
    2010 Population: 4,533,372.  Racial make-up: White 63%, Black 32%, Other Races: 5%.
    2000 Population:4,468,976.  Racial make-up: White 64%, Black 33%, Other Races: 3%.
    Louisiana’s population increased by 1.4%.
Bossier City
    2010  population: 61,782. Racial make-up: White 69%, Black 25%, Other races 6%.
    2000 population: 56,461.  The population grew by 8.6%.

Who’s the biggest?
    What are the biggest cities and parishes after the 2010 Census?  Here are the top five in each category:
Largest Cities
    New Orleans – 343,829. (Population decreased since 2000 Census by 29.1%).
    Baton Rouge – 229,493.  (Population increased by 0.7%).
    Shreveport – 199,311.  (Population decreased by 0.4%.
    Lafayette – 120,623.  (Population increased by 9.4%).
    Lake Charles – 71,993.  (Population increased by 0.3%).
Largest Parishes
    East Baton Rouge – 440,171. (Population  increased by 6.6%).
    Jefferson – 432,552.  (Population decreased by 5%).
    Orleans – 343,829.  (Population decreased by 29.1%).
    Caddo – 254,969.  (Population increased by 1.1%).
    St. Tammany – 233,740.  (Population increased by 22.2%).

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