On March 24th, the U.S. Census Bureau released their final, state-level population counts from the 2010 Census, which allows the redistricting process to take place. Redistricting is the legislative process of redrawing the boundaries of the 435 congressional districts of the House of Representatives, so that each district has approximately the same amount of people. The release of this data is a major milestone in the Census process, which plays a critical role in the distribution of congressional seats and federal funding, and provides insights on the demographic trends that unfolded across the nation over last decade.
One trend seen in the data that is of great significance is that, from 2000 to 2010, population growth in the eleven U.S. Megaregions (10.3 %) outpaced overall growth of the nation (9.7 %). The Arizona Sun Corridor megaregion led the way with a rate of 24.7 %, followed by the Texas Triangle (22.3 %), and Piedmont Atlantic (18.6 %) megaregions, which all grew at more than twice the national rate. The nation's two most populous megaregions, the Great Lakes and Northeast, experienced very modest growth (3.3 and 5.6 %, respectively), well below the national average.
However, in the Northeast Megaregion, which encompasses the contiguous urban areas of the Northeast, population growth was nearly 75 % higher than that of the Census-defined Northeast region, which encompasses all of the nine New England and Mid-Atlantic states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont, including vast areas of rural landscape. This proves that the population growth that occurred in the Northeast was concentrated in the region's urban areas.