Legislative redistricting committee analyzes 2020 census data

The Legislative Redistricting Committee released the state’s first analysis of the 2020 Census data showing how population shifts over the last decade will force changes to current district boundaries. The new analysis comes four days after the U.S. Census Bureau released raw data to the state. 

As the fastest-growing state in the nation, Utah grew by 18.4 percent since 2010. However, the analysis shows not all areas of the state grew evenly. To meet constitutional requirements, officeholders must be elected from districts that have an approximately equal population. 

For example, Utah County and Washington County grew much faster than the state average, resulting in their share of the state’s population increasing over the last ten years by 1.47 percent and 0.51 percent of the total population, respectively. These areas will need to gain representation to achieve a constitutional balance. The committee’s analysis shows Utah County will have to pick up an additional 6 percent of a congressional seat, 43 percent of a state Senate seat, one state House seat and 22 percent of a state School Board seat. 

Meanwhile, Salt Lake County and Weber County decreased as a percentage of state population, with a decrease of 1.03 percent and 0.035 percent of the total, respectively. The current districts in these areas will need to increase in geographical size. The committee’s analysis shows that population changes will result in a decrease in Salt Lake County of 4 percent of a congressional seat, 30 percent of a state Senate seat, 77 percent of a state House seat and 15 percent of a state school board seat.

“Now that we finally have the data, we can analyze how our state’s population has grown and shifted over the last decade,” said Sen. Scott Sandall, co-chair of the Legislative Redistricting Committee. “Redistricting is essential for accurate representation. As individuals elected by the people, we want to ensure fair representation for the next 10 years. Our next step in the process is to communicate and receive feedback from Utahns on how to best draw boundaries that serve all areas of the state while meeting population criteria.”

“The constitution requires us to follow the data,” said Rep. Paul Ray, co-chair of the Legislative Redistricting Committee. “We are bound to draw districts that rebalance representation to reflect the current population of the state. Our task over the next few months is to figure out exactly how to do that in a way that makes sense for all citizens in the state.”  

Redrawing district boundaries is the constitutional responsibility of the Legislature to complete every ten years. Beginning September, the Legislative Redistricting Committee will begin an extensive statewide tour to discuss the data with Utahns and receive feedback on how districts should be redrawn. Additionally, the committee is providing an online tool where citizens can draw and submit their own redistricting maps, which will be ready in early September.

For more information, visit redistricting.utah.gov