New Census data on the growth of the Hispanic population continues to underscore the importance of this group in our national fabric — and to the electoral map.
Take Arizona for example: the Hispanic population grew 46% in the last decade and we now constitute 30% of the population of the state as a whole. In my home state of California, the Hispanic population grew by 28% over the course of the decade, now representing 38% of the state’s residents.
So, do higher numbers yield greater political power?
While many political pundits may argue that not all of this population growth translates directly into political power, there are important political factors to note here as well. For example, check out what these numbers mean in California as well as in Sherif Arpaio’s backyard, Arizona:
Census data confirms that California kept its 53 seats in the House of Representatives thanks to the growth of the Latino population.
Latinos represent over half (51%) of all Californians under the age of 18.
Arizona has added a seat as a result of its Latino population boom.
43% of all Arizonans under voting age.
As more Census data continues to be released, it remains clear that although Arizona and other states have led the push to pass anti-immigrant state laws, the hispanic population is central to their present structure and their political future.
For example, Hispanics under 18 years old are future voters, whose political decisions will be influenced, in large part, by what they’re seeing done to their relatives, friends and acquaintances who are unable to speak out and vote.
Consider, too, that the Hispanic population (and its growth) in these states will play a role in the Congressional redistricting process that will take place as a result of the new Census data.
So what role did our friends in the Spanish-language media play in the Hispanic community?
As usual, they led the efforts to urge Hispanics to participate in the Census, informing them of what was at stake if they didn’t.
In addition, they continue to play a central role in keeping us informed about the ongoing developments regarding the issues that affect us. One such example is immigration.