The 2011 census numbers are back and when it comes to the City of Amarillo, it's grown! The data not only shows population counts, but also race, voting age and housing data.
Ten years ago, in 2000, the city had 173,627 people living within it's limits. Now the census shows, in 2010, there were 190,695 people. That's an increase of 9.8%.
Not only did the city grow, so did Potter and Randall counties. Both grew by at least 5% even upwards of 25% according to a 2011 census population map. Randall county now has 120,725 people; Potter county now has 121,073.
But what does that mean when it comes to re-districting?
"The districts from the panhandle can only grow to the south. So what does it mean for the Panhandle? It's districts are going to get bigger," said State Senator Kel Seliger (R- District 31).
He continued saying "When I talk about the panhandle, I'm talking about the district down to Lubbock, they will not have as many Texas State Representatives in the future."
The reason is because there has been much more growth in other parts of the state. By the time the redistricting committee puts 168,000 people in each house district, the Panhandle is expected to loose seats.
Seliger continued saying he still doesn't know exactly what the districts will look like in terms of counties, simply because they too, just received the data. The next step is to draw the maps and make sure they are fair, then have them scrutinized by a legal team to make sure they follow the laws of the constitution.
Representative John Smithee, (R) for the 86th District, sent us this statement regarding our growth and redistricting: "Upon initial review, it appears that the latest census data contains no real surprises from earlier numbers we have seen. It is apparent that although our area has experienced healthy growth over the last decade, we have not grown as fast as the rest of Texas. It is plain that all the districts on all levels of government will have to be become geographically larger. However, my ultimate goal is to preserve a Panhandle congressional district, a Panhandle state senate district, and three Panhandle Texas state house districts."
But not all counties grew during the last decade. There are 13 counties who lost up to 21 percent of their population. Which ones? To find out, you can click here .