Presidential Members Report: Implications for Minority Voters in 2001 January, 2001 << Back to Introduction

State-by-State Analysis: North Carolina

The 1990 undercount and its demographic composition

As indicated in Table 1, the percentage undercount of 1.9 percent in North Carolina was higher than the national average of 1.6 percent and resulted in a net numerical undercount of 125,930 persons, seventh highest in the nation. For non-Hispanic whites, Table 1 indicates, the undercount percentage was 1.3 percent as compared to 3.6 percent for members of minority groups. As indicated in Table 2 and the summary Chart below, these differentials between whites and minorities resulted in an undercounted population with a much greater minority group percentage than the state's total population. Minorities comprised 25 percent of the state's uncorrected population, compared to 47 percent of the state's undercounted population. In numerical terms, the undercount consisted of 66,340 non-Hispanic whites and 59,590 members of minority groups. In North Carolina, as in Georgia and Virginia, the minority population consists primarily of non-Hispanic blacks. In North Carolina, 87 percent of minority group members are African-Americans, 5 percent are Hispanic, and 8 percent are members of other minority groups.

Implications of 1990 Census adjustment for minority voter opportunities

The use of corrected data in North Carolina for the post-1990 redistricting would have had the potential to enhance minority voter opportunities in the plans drawn for the State Senate and State House. In the North Carolina State Senate, the use of corrected data would have enhanced minority voter opportunities by increasing the baseline of majority-minority districts against which the next redistricting plan will be measured. State Senate District 7, located in the southeastern part of the state, includes a minority population of 48.6 percent. However, application of the corrected data for 1990 demonstrates that the population of this District is more accurately measured at 49.0 percent. The use of corrected data for six senate districts surrounding Senate District 7 also reveals a sufficient number of additional persons, including a substantial percentage of minorities, so that State Senate District 7 might have been drawn to include a higher minority percentage than the current district, with the potential to increase this district to the 50 percent mark. The corrected data in surrounding districts identifies some 16,000 additional persons, nearly half minority (some 7,900). This additional population was more than would have been needed to meet one-person, one-vote requirements in this region, given that the use of adjusted data would increase the size of an ideal State Senate district by some 2,500 persons, from some 132,600 to 135,100.

The use of corrected rather than uncorrected Census data in North Carolina would have had an impact on State House districts as well. In the North Carolina State House, there are no districts with minority percentages approaching 50 percent. However, there are several districts with minority populations close to or greater than 40 percent minority. The district with the greatest potential to have had a substantially augmented minority population is House District 6 in north-eastern North Carolina (37.8 percent minority, primarily black). The corrected data in seven surrounding districts identifies some 9,100 additional persons, including some 6200 minority group members (68 percent). This additional population was more than would have been needed to meet one-person, one-vote requirements in this region, given that the use of adjusted data would increase the size of an ideal State House district by only 1,049 persons, from 55,239 to 56,288.




Summary of Findings






North Carolina



New York


End Notes

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