A new round of census data, destined to shape state politics for the next decade, is scheduled to be released August 12. 

It will be the second major population release from the U.S. Census this year. In April, we learned that North Carolina grew by about 900,000 people, enough to warrant an additional Congress member. A trend toward urban areas continued, as more than 40 predominantly rural counties may have lost population over the last decade.

The new data provides a deeper understanding of the demographic shifts. It includes population figures down to the census block range. The data also has counts broken down by race and ethnicity, and new housing numbers.

The census counts are among the most important data to our democracy. The GOP-led General Assembly will use the numbers to redraw the state's political boundaries covering Congress and both chambers of the legislature.

That process would already be underway in most census cycles. But the pandemic caused a delay in collecting and processing the information.


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