Census Bureau expected to release Md. data for past decade Wednesday

Figures to detail shifts in population, race, home vacancy, play role in redistricting

February 09, 2011|By Yeganeh June Torbati, The Baltimore Sun

The Census Bureau is expected to release official numbers Wednesday that will detail how Maryland's population has expanded and shifted in the past decade.

The bureau announced Tuesday afternoon that it had shipped the data, which will be used to redraw Maryland's political district lines, to Gov. Martin O'Malley and leaders of the state legislature. Once they have confirmed their receipt of the data, the Census Bureau will release the information on its website.

The data will include population counts down to the block level, including information on race, Hispanic ethnicity and home vacancy. Maryland is one of the first 10 states to receive its data, reflecting the crunched redistricting schedule officials here face. Congressional primaries in the state are scheduled for almost exactly one year from Wednesday. Virginia and New Jersey received their data last week.

In April, Maryland became the first state to require that prisoners be counted for the purposes of redistricting as residents of their home addresses, rather than their prison cells. New York and Delaware quickly followed with the passage of similar bills in August.

The change means that Maryland lawmakers will not be able to begin redistricting until state officials in the planning and corrections departments and the Office of Legislative Services make their way through a list of some 20,000 inmates and their last known addresses, a process that officials expect will last until mid-March.

jtorbati@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jtorbati

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