Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby’s district has grown 123 percent since 2000, skyrocketing from a population of 47,670 in 2000 to a population of 106,729 in 2010. But it won’t stay that way for much longer – the city intends to chop it up in this year’s redistricting process.
The 2010 U.S. Census numbers relating to the city’s redistricting process came in Tuesday, three weeks earlier than the city had expected, said Scot Mende, the city’s new growth manager. And Ashby’s District 1, which includes North and South Natomas and part of downtown, is much larger now than any other district.
Maria MacGunigal, the city’s Geographic Information System manager, attributes the changes in District 1 to “unprecedented growth” in Natomas over the last 10 years.
The Census data shows that the city’s population rose from 407,018 in 2000 to 466,488 in 2010. With the city’s population at 466,488, each district must have 58,311 people.
The city must divvy up the districts so residents can be represented equally under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, MacGunigal explained.
“We need to draw the boundaries to as near as equal a population as possible,” MacGunigal said.
While city staff had expected Ashby’s district would have the largest population, they had predicted the city’s overall population to be more than 480,000. The city had estimated the population using information sources that included the U.S. Postal service, building permits and commercial databases, MacGunigal said.
“I was surprised that the population was a little lower than we had anticipated,” MacGunigal said.
Districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are relatively close in size, ranging in population from about 46,000 people to about 53,000 people. District 4, represented by Councilman Rob Fong, has 45,703 people, making it the least-populated district in the city.
District 8, which covers South Sacramento, is a little larger. It now has 61,458 people, up 13 percent from 2000, according to the Census figures.
The city applies U.S. Census figures to its redistricting process, which occurs every 10 years. The city’s charter says the city has six months to reassemble its district boundaries after the Census data is released.
The city’s deadline for completing the redistricting process is Sept. 6.
View the city’s map of the new Census data here.
View a chart of the population changes in each district below.
Chart by Kathleen Haley and Brandon Darnell
Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.