Kentucky Census data confirms that 2nd, 4th and 6th districts will have to shed counties

03/17/2011 04:18 PM

Kentucky’s even-numbered congressional districts will have to shrink geographically during the redistricting process, while the rural 1st and 5th districts need more constituents.

The population disparity between the most populous district — the 2nd District represented by U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie — and the U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers’ 5th District is 90,000 constituents.

The 2nd includes Bowling Green, Owensboro, Fort Knox, Elizabethtown and Shelby County — all growth areas. It has 760,032 people, according to the U.S. Census data released Thursday.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, who won re-election last November by 648 votes, lost out on having the most populous district by just 827 people. The 6th District has 759,205 constituents.

Meanwhile, the 5th District in eastern and southeastern Kentucky has a population of 670,051. The district has 28 counties and half of Bath County. Eighteen of the counties lost population over the last decade, according to the data.

Meanwhile, three of the counties with the fastest rates of growth came in the 4th Congressional District, represented by Republican Congressman Geoff Davis of Hebron.

Those counties include Boone, Oldham and Scott, which is split between the 4th and 6th districts.

Check out the U.S. Census interactive map:

The average population for each district would be about 723,228. They won’t end up exactly even and several lawmakers have said they want to try to avoid splitting counties between two districts this time.

The 2010 population numbers for the existing districts are:

  • 1st District — 686,989
  • 2nd District — 760,032
  • 3rd District — 721,626
  • 4th District — 741,464
  • 5th District — 670,051
  • 6th District — 759,205

Kentucky’s congressional delegation have begun preliminary discussions, Guthrie and Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville have said on Pure Politics.

The legislature must approve the new congressional and state legislative lines before the 2012 candidate filing deadline in late January.

- Ryan Alessi


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