Over the years I’ve morphed into a bit of geek when it comes to data and trends based on demographics. So when I saw an item on the washingtonpost.com about what the U.S. electoral map will look like in 2060, I was curious.
The projections, based on population estimates and a formula for apportionment, show that Texas would pick up two congressional seats in 2030. That same year, Oklahoma and South Carolina — two states with sizable Native American populations — would pick up one seat.
The story concentrates on how the Latino population will figure largely in elections, especially in Texas. I find that interesting, and I hope to see more stories about the Hispanic vote in upcoming elections.
But as always, I am disheartened by the fact that I rarely see any mention of Native Americans in stories about demographic shifts. Granted, the point of the Washington Post story was about future electoral maps. Still, it frustrates me that I have to research the data for myself if I want to find out information on Native populations.
For example, when I’ve looked for a breakdown of “voting by race” in data from the U.S. Census Bureau, information on Native Americans is excluded. Reports I have seen say “American Indian and Alaska Natives” are not shown “because of their small sample size.”
In my own research on Native American voters – and I had to dig deep to unearth a few morsels – I found that their numbers are rising at the ballot box.
The National Congress of American Indians, through its Native Vote project, reported that in Montana and New Mexico, Native Americans are registered to vote at a higher rate than that of any other racial or ethnic group. In Montana, Native Americans account for 64.1 percent of registered voters compared with 63.6 percent of Caucasian voters. In New Mexico, Native Americans represent 77 percent of registered voters, followed by 70 percent of Caucasian voters.
As I read the Washington Post story, I wondered what the projections are for those two states. So I looked them up on the link provided in the story.
In 2030, New Mexico’s population is projected to increase by 18.5 percent, and by 39.6 percent in 2060. In Montana, the population is projected to increase by 15.2 percent in 2030, and by 30.6 percent in 2060.
Surely, the Native American vote will have some impact in those states.
This is the kind of data that I will be researching and writing about in future blog posts.
Link to Proximity data: