Redistricting looms amid Georgia's increasing minority populations; Alabama demographics slowly shift (2024)

ATLANTA —Georgia is growing more diverse as minority populations have seen more growth in the last 10 years, while the white population has declined, according to 2020 U.S. Census data.

In many ways, the Georgia numbers mirror national trends revealed in the recently released U.S. Census data.

The white population shrunk from 55.9% to 51.9%, or 5.55 million, putting Georgia in the top 10 states with the lowest population of people identifying as white. Minority populations in Georgiaareincreasing, with Georgia's Black population increasing by 12.5%, or more than 367,319, for a population of 3.32 million; the Hispanic population increased by nearly 2% by 269,768 over the last 10 years and Asians had the largest increase at 52.3%.

Thirty-one percent of the state's populationnowidentifiesas Black, 4.5% identify as Asian and 6.9% or more than 743,000 identified as two or more races.

Over the course of 10 years, Liberty County in southeast Georgia, along with Metro Atlanta counties Henry, Newton and Douglas, transformed from a majority white county to majority Black; Burke County in east central Georgia and Mitchell County in southwest Georgia flipped to having larger white populations from being largely Black.

Areas in and around metro Atlanta saw some of the largest population growths in the state, many of them by more than 10 percent.

Georgia counties along its northern border have some of the states highest white and majority white populations including Dade, Fannin, Union and Towns county which all have an over 90%white population. Brantley in south Georgia also has majority white population.

Just under half of Georgia’s 159 counties report a Black population of less than 25 percent. Black populations are more concentrated in counties in near metro Atlanta, southwest Georgia near Albany and east central Georgia near Augusta, which is now the second largest city in Georgia.

With the release of new census data, the state's political district lines are redrawn every 10 years. On a state level, Georgia has 56 senate districts and 180 house districts,both comprised of a majority of Republicans. The state's redistricting committee is also Republican dominated, with 10 of 15 state Senate members being Republican, and 13 of 18 stateHouse members being Republican.

Redistricting, historically, has been a partisan issue.

"Our districts will be larger than they have been previously...but both parties, when they're in power, they both put their thumb on the scale," said Cuffy Sullivan of the nonpartisan nonprofit group Fair Districts GA, which advocates for fair redistricting processes in Georgia. "What we've seen is there's been some packing in the minority districts which means there are more than there ought to be which means that voting power has been diluted from other districts."

Areas that have seen an increase in minority population, including areas that flipped from Republican to Democrat in the 2020 elections (Cobb, Gwinnett, Henry, Rockdale and Douglas counties) will likely be targets for redistricting, as minority populations typically vote Democrat.

"The Atlanta cities' suburbs and exurbs is where so much of the growth has happened. What we're seeing is rural white Georgia is shrinking and kinda more multi-cultural diverse cities have grown," Sullivansaid."I think we can all agree Georgia is a swing state right now and we certainly have the diversity, so I'm hoping that the districts reflect this new reality, the numbers are pretty stark."

But legislatively, there's nothing compelling the redistricting committee to consider the growing diversity in Georgia.

Democrats across the country have pushed for Congress to approve a new Voting Rights Act, H.R.1 (For the People Act) and H.R. 4 Voting Rights Advancement Act),and thoseproposals would reinstatepre-clearance provisions, requiring areas with a history of voting discrimination to receive approval from the Department of Justiceprior toany voting change, including redistricting.

“One of the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that would be restored is pre-clearance, which states any maps that are drawn have to take into account race and communities of interest,” said Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, D-OH, duringanAug. 11 event hosted by Fair Fight Action, the voting rights organization founded by Stacey Abrams. “It makes the difference for having adequate or equal representation because if you don’t, you dilute the minority voting populations, and we can’t vote for people who look like us and you don’t have a congressional Black caucus. You lose representation of people who look like you and I.”

Alabama demographics shift

Similar to Georgia's growing trends in diversity, Alabama saw a decrease of its white population by 1.7 percent with whites making up 64.1%, or 3.22 million, of the state’s 5.024 million people, though the state's overall population growth is much slower than Georgia.

The Black population saw a 3.6% increase, with Black people making up 25.8%, or nearly 1.29 million, of the state's population. The state also saw a large increase — 43% — intheAsian population, which makes up about of 1.5% of the state's residents.

Counties that saw the largest increase in Black residents are Marshall County which saw an 65.5% increase, Shelby County saw a 39.6% increase, Limestone County saw a 27.6% increase and Lee County saw a 24% increase; Winston and St. Clair counties also saw more than a 20% increase in the Black population.

Overall, south Alabama'sBaldwin County, located just east of the city of Mobile, saw one of the largest population growths inthe state, more than 27%, adding more than 49,500 additional residents. North Alabama'sLimestone County near Huntsville, which is now the state's most populous city, increased its population by by 25% to 103,570 residents.

Alabama's state legislature consists of 35 senate districts and 105 house districts and is also dominated by Republicans.

Alabama is expected to join other states in calls for special legislativesessions in the coming months to address redistricting in their respective states as new district maps must be completed by the time of Spring 2022 primary elections.

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Redistricting looms amid Georgia's increasing minority populations; Alabama demographics slowly shift (2024)

FAQs

Is the population of black people growing in Georgia? ›

In 2020, the state's Black and African American population increased by 13%, remaining the second-largest racial and ethnic group; the state's Asian population grew by 53% and its Hispanic and Latino American population increased by 32%.

What are the whitest counties in Georgia? ›

Georgia counties along its northern border have some of the states highest white and majority white populations including Dade, Fannin, Union and Towns county which all have an over 90% white population. Brantley in south Georgia also has majority white population.

What counties in Georgia have the highest black population? ›

Stonecrest and Lithonia, both located in DeKalb County, rank first and second for the highest percent share of totals represented by the black population– at 92.5 percent and 91.6 percent, respectively.

What is the blackest state in America? ›

States with the Highest Black Population

Texas has the highest Black population in the United States of 3,936,669, about 14% of Texas's total population.

What is the demographics of Alabama? ›

Population & Diversity

Alabama is home to a population of 5.03M people, from which 97.9% are citizens. As of 2022, 3.51% of Alabama residents were born outside of the country (177k people). In 2022, there were 2.46 times more White (Non-Hispanic) residents (3.25M people) in Alabama than any other race or ethnicity.

What is the whitest state in America? ›

West Virginia leads the pack as the state with the largest percentage of White residents, at 97.12%. The Northeastern and Midwestern states of Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Iowa also feature in top spots, demonstrating above 90% white demography.

What is the largest ethnic group in Georgia? ›

The 5 largest ethnic groups in Georgia are White (Non-Hispanic) (50.8%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (31.1%), Asian (Non-Hispanic) (4.3%), White (Hispanic) (3.5%), and Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (3.14%).

What's the richest County in Georgia? ›

Forsyth County is the richest county in Georgia, with a median household income of approximately $120,999 and an average home value of $585,677. It's known for excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, and affluent residents. Nearby Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

What is the blackest county in Alabama? ›

County Percent Black Population Macon County 86.2 Greene County 80.6 Lowndes County 74.9 Bullock County 72.7 Sumter County 70.7 Wilcox County 69.2 Perry County 64.8 Hale County 59.7 Dallas County 58.3 Marengo County 51.1 Source: 1990 Census of Population and Alabama State Data Center, special tabulation.

What is the black only city in Georgia? ›

A group of 19 African American families bought a 98-acre tract of land in rural Georgia in 2018 to create a freed state community just 130 miles from Atlanta to develop a relatively racially unfettered community for aspiring Black Americans.

What percent of Alabama is black? ›

According to the 2020 Census, approximately 25.8% of Alabama's population is African American. Bullock County, Dallas County, Greene County, Hale County, Lowndes County, Macon County, Marengo County, Montgomery County, Perry County, Sumter County, and Wilcox County.

What is the fastest growing population in Georgia? ›

Georgia Population Growth Rate City Rank
RankPopulation Growth Rate ▼City / Population
1.690.73%Lithia Springs, GA / 16,384
2.580.93%Braselton, GA / 8,212
3.463.61%Chester, GA / 1,719
4.331.50%Dawsonville, GA / 2,671
160 more rows

Where do most Africans live in Georgia? ›

The 10-county Atlanta region is home to approximately 42 percent of Georgia's total population, but represents 87 percent of the state's East Africans population. The largest concentrations of East Africans are found in DeKalb County along I-285 in Clarkston.

What percentage of Georgia students are black? ›

In Georgia's public colleges, Black enrollment was about 25% in fall 2023, down from nearly 28% in 2014. The percentage of white students at UGA continues its steady decline, but white students are still a large majority at UGA: 64%, a higher percentage than all but three other public state colleges.

What percentage of farmers in Georgia are black? ›

Black farmers make up a larger share of total farmers in Mississippi (12%), Louisiana (7%), South Carolina (7%), Alabama (6%), and Georgia (4%).

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