Legislators received the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau figures Thursday, which “kicked off” the redistricting process, said Sen. Scott T. Rupp, R- St. Charles, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting.
Missouri will lose a Congressional seat because its population did not grow as much as in some other states. The state Senate and House will work together to determine new Congressional districts as it drops from nine seats to eight.
“This kicks things off because we can see where we’re at,” Rupp said. “We’ll start our first public hearing (today) in Springfield, and we’ll do more next week. The House also will hold public hearings, so there will be two hearings in each district.”
Rep. Linda Black, D-Bonne Terre, said the House leadership received the figures at 11 a.m. Thursday.
“At this time the information is still being analyzed,” she said. “Redistricting forums are being conducted around the state as part of the redistricting process. Presumably, we should be moving forward with a bill mid-March, once the House has concluded the regional hearings and all census related data has been considered.”
The census data also will be used to redraw Missouri’s congressional and state legislative districts. Those new lines will be determined by a separate commission, Rupp said.
According to the 2010 census, St. Francois County grew from 55,641 in 2000 to 65,359, a 17.47 percent increase. The county is ranked 17th in the state by population.
Iron County’s population decreased by 67 people, dropping the total to 10,630 and ranking it 85th in population.
The population in Madison County grew by 426 people since 2000. The county is ranked 83rd in population.
In Ste. Genevieve, the population grew by 303 from 17,842 in 2000 to 18,145 in 2010. It ranks 62nd.
Washington County gained 1,851 people to bring the population to 25,195. It is ranked 45th in population.
The 8th Congressional District, which includes St. Francois, Iron, Madison and Washington counties, grew by more than 37,500 people.
Census figures showed that St. Louis County had the highest county population of 998,954, despite its drop of 17,361 people. The smallest county was Worth, which dropped 211 people for a total of 2,171. Worth’s rank of 115 did not change from 2000.
Southwest Missouri’s 7th Congressional District grew by approximately 100,000 people since the 2000 census, and the 2nd District grew by about 85,000 in the 2nd District in suburban St. Louis County.
Nearly 6 million people live in the state, according to the new figures.
Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.