Census puts Nevada into redistricting | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Census puts Nevada into redistricting

Susan Wood

Let the redistricting begin.

Nevada’s 2000 census statistics are due out next week, opening a new chapter scientists and state lawmakers have eagerly awaited to remap political district boundaries.

Since U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans ended the ongoing debate on Wednesday over the count’s methodology – sampling versus head count-the U.S. Census Bureau started releasing the crucial demographic breakdowns of the population.

“The debate is over in terms of the Secretary of Commerce making a decision not to adjust the statistics. That’s why we’re delivering them now,” Bureau Assistant Chief Catherine Clark McCully said.

McCully was referring to critics of the census in poor neighborhoods and the Democratic legislature who blame the current head count method for the projected minority undercount and low fiscal health of some communities.

Supporters who lost a request for a census adjustment claim there’s a net undercount of 3.3 million people.

McCully anticipates the argument will continue as it has for the last 15 years.

For now, Nevada stands to gain another seat in Congress – making the map for its explosive growth over the last decade.

The Bureau estimates Nevada’s population at 1,998,257, compared to 1,201,833 in 1990. According to the state’s population numbers released in December, it had the largest population gain of any other state nationwide.

Next week, a geographic summary will release demographic data such as population, race and voting age of the Silver State by county, city, census block and voting district and Indian reservation areas.

The Bureau will submit the tabulations to Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn’s office and the state legislature.

Along with Guinn, Secretary of State Dean Heller said he awaits the barometer of enormous growth in the state to pay for a pile of programs counting on federal funds. This includes Medicaid and Medicare, the federal government’s health insurance programs for the poor and the aging population, respectively.

A harder nut to crack, California’s local numbers are expected to be released in the last week of the month, McCully said.

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