Census and Redistricting Issues

"Because Equity is Still an Issue."

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Updated: August 5, 2013 Index:


State Redistricting Targets Women of Both Parties

Casualties from redistricting at the state level often hit women lawmakers the hardest. Although Democrats were hit harder in the latest round of redistricting, the process overall has targeted women of both parties, including women in leadership positions. Just 24 percent of state lawmakers nationwide are women.

Women have made tremendous strides in becoming top decision-makers in both public service and private enterprise. AAUW strongly opposes efforts to deny women such an opportunity and advocates programs that provide women with education, training, and support for success in the work force and in political office.

- from AAUW's Washington Update for May 25, 2011.

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Unmarried Women Comprise Key, Growing Voting Block

A recent report reveals that unmarried women are a growing and important segment of the electorate. The “marriage gap” that has appeared among female voters shows that unmarried women are less likely to register or vote than married women, and when they do vote, they make different choices as a group. With unmarried women representing about 25 percent of the voting age public, some are suggesting that exit polls should include a question on marital status; currently most do not.

AAUW believes the voices of all women are important and should be taken seriously by elected officials. We support equitable political participation and representation at all levels of government.

- from AAUW's Washington Update for February 11, 2011.

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Redistricting to Shuffle Congressional Representation

As a result of the census data released last month, a number of states are set to gain or lose congressional seats in the upcoming decennial congressional redistricting. Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington will all see additional representatives in the next Congress, while New York, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will lose seats. The changes will likely place many recently elected representatives’ seats at risk, and a number of long-term incumbents against one another.

- from AAUW's Washington Update for January 14, 2011.

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Census Data Details Pay Disparities Between Women and Men

The Census Bureau recently released data from the American Community Survey (2005 to 2009) that details the pay disparities between men and women, and occupational gender segregation. Of 20 occupations where men’s median annual salary is $40,000 and more, men out-earned women in every single instance.

- from AAUW's Washington Update for January 14, 2011.

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Disparities in Women-Owned Business Growth, Revenues

The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners show that the growth of women-owned businesses outpaced those owned by men. Companies owned solely by women made up more than 28 percent of all U.S. businesses and accounted for $1.2 trillion in transactions. However, in the same time period, male-owned businesses generated significantly more revenue.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor statistics, women who work full time earn on average 77 cents for every dollar men earn. AAUW believes that equal pay for equal work is a simple matter of justice for women. Wage discrimination impacts the economic security of families today and directly affects retirement security as women look down the road.

- from AAUW's Washington Update for December 17, 2010.

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Changing Population Statistics

On Monday, the government released new statistics, based on birth, death and immigration records, estimating the U.S. population grew to somewhere between 306 and 313 million in the last ten years. While the estimates are separate from the official 2010 census, demographers say the range of numbers offers an idea of the official results that will be used to reapportion House seats.

- from AAUW's Washington Update for December 10, 2010.

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Relevant local and national articles:

Will Cuomo Draw the Line on Gerrymandering?

Census estimates US population at 306M to 313M

Redistricting Could Change Political Landscape In State

Legislators preparing to redraw districts

New York’s House Delegation to Lose One or Two Seats

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Census Statistics Foreshadow Redistricting

A new estimate of upcoming congressional redistricting reveals Florida gaining and New York losing two House seats, respectively. Earlier projections found that both Texas and Ohio are expected to pick up seats as well. Despite relative accuracy, there are no guarantees until the Census Bureau’s scheduled announcement in late December of the final population totals for all states. Once the data is released reapportionment debates will begin across the country at the state level, resulting in a new electoral map for the 2012 elections, and impacting the makeup of federal and state legislatures for the next decade.

- from AAUW's Washington Update for October 1, 2010.

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