Redistricting Process: Legislative Population Change (since 2000): 702,294
Legislature: Democratic Seats: 4 (+1 from 2010)
Governor: Brian Sandoval (R) Members of Congress: 2R, 2D
Party Control: Split 2012: 52.3% Obama, 45.7% Romney

Map Instructions:

Three maps are available for each state. Each has new district outlines in bold.
Click on each district on the map to see more information.
Click the arrow button to switch between districts that are close together.
New Districts by Party Representation

Redistricting Analysis: Nevada, Rapid Growth Results in One New Seat

2010 Redistricting Changes:

Old Districts by Partisan Voting Index with New District Outlines
Old Districts by Party Representation with New District Outlines

Between 2000 and 2010, Nevada was the fastest growing state in the nation, at a breakneck pace of 35.1%. This was over three times the national average of 9.7%. This makes it the only state which has maintained a growth rate greater than 25% for the past three decades. Despite this rapid growth, Nevada’s population only increased enough to give it one more seat for the next decade. Far more important than the raw numbers, however, are the demographic shifts. Nevada had always been a relatively diverse state, a trait which has only become more pronounced in the last decade. Compared to overall growth, the population increase for Caucasians was only half at 12%. Meanwhile, the population change for minorities was far more rapid. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 82%, the Asian population grew by 117%, and the African American population grew at 61%. Nevada’s current demographics already look extremely different. Whereas previously the state had an ethnic breakdown of 65.2% Caucasian, 6.8% African American, 4.5% Asian, and 19.7% Hispanic, it is now 54.1% Caucasian, 8.1% African American, 7.2% Asian, and 26.5% Hispanic.

Additionally, much of Nevada’s explosive growth occurred within the southwest region of Clark County, around Las Vegas. The county accounts for 72% of the state’s population, up from 68.8% in 2000. Nevada’s growth may have been high as a state, but was actually concentrated in only a few regions. Most other areas lagged behind this growth rate. In fact, only 2 counties, Lyon and Clark had a growth rate equal to or greater than the statewide average. Lyon grew by 50.7% while Clark County, by far the largest in the state, grew by 41.8%, in the past decade. The irregular population dispersion and enormous demographic changes have greatly complicated Nevada’s redistricting process, so much so that the Washington Post labeled Nevada as one of the top 10 states to watch.

In Nevada, congressional redistricting is proposed by the legislature and sent to the Governor to either approve or veto. Unlike normal legislation, however, the General Assembly, consisting of both the house and the senate, cannot override a veto. This is particularly important given the state’s division of power. The legislature was controlled by Democrats but the Governor was a Republican. The legislature proposed three different maps and received three vetoes. Eventually, the drafting decisions were passed to the courts. The most notable controversy was the distribution of the Hispanic population, which made up 26% of the state. Republican lawmakers favored “minority opportunity” districts, where Hispanic made up more than 50% of the voting bloc, while Democrats desired “minority influence” districts, where Hispanics were merely present in large numbers. While subtle, these differences could prove critical. Democrats accused Republican of hoarding minorities (who typically vote for the left) in hopes of strengthening conservative in other districts. Meanwhile, Republicans criticized Democrats for denying a crucial minority group a guaranteed representative.

In the end, the legislature failed to compromise with the governor and they did not reach an agreement. Instead, power was granted to Judge James Russell, who controversially formed a panel of only three people. After the finalized plan by the panel and minor changes by the judiciary, neither party filed an appeal, even though the final district was 42.8% Hispanic, angering the Democrats.

First District

The First District only extends to a portion of Clark County, and is by far the smallest district in the state. In fact, its geographic area is only 104.5 square miles. By comparison, the second smallest county is more than twenty times larger at 2,888.5 square miles. The small size of District 1 is primarily because it contains the city of Las Vegas, the most populous in Nevada. Ideally, each district should have a population of 675,138 (a number calculated by dividing total population by number of districts). Las Vegas, the largest city in Nevada, has 589,317 residents. Overall, the First District is the most diverse in the state; 54.39% of the population is White, 11.56% are African American, 9.3% are Asian, and 42.77% are Hispanic or Latino. While the district has a population perfectly matching the ideal, it does have slightly less eligible voters than its neighbors. Only 75% of the population is over the age of 18. Of those legally able to vote, 58% are White, which differs slightly from the districts overall demographics. Of registered voters, 52.31% are Democrats, 25.23% are Republican, and 16.53% are non-partisan

Second District

In contrast to the First, the Second District is the largest in the state. It is also the most changed, having been split into two separate districts after 2010. It occupies the entirety of northern Nevada, and stretches down toward the midland. It is composed of Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Pershing, Storey and Washoe Counties and part of Lyon County. The district is the most rural in the state, with a population density of only 12 per square mile. It does, however, contain Reno, the fourth largest city in the Nevada. The city has 224,221 residents, a significant portion of the 675,138 who live in Nevada. Demographically, the Second is predominately Caucasian, with 79.39% of residents White, 2.58% are African American, 5% Asian and 20.43% Hispanic. These proportions are significantly different than the state as a whole, because minority growth has been more prevalent in the southern, more industrialized regions of Nevada.

Republicans in the second district enjoy a sizable majority over their Democratic Counterparts. Only 35.27% of residents are registered Democrats compared to 42.81% Republican.

Third District

Nevada’s Third District is situated on the southernmost part of the state, and touches the Colorado River. It is also the least changed, gaining only a small portion of Clark County which it shares with the First. However, because the district does not encompass the highly populated Las Vegas region, it is over ten times larger than the First, and has a population density of 233.7, compared to 6,461. Instead, the third is composed of Henderson, Summerlin, and parts of Northern Las Vegas. Of these cities, Henderson is the largest with 257,729 residents, and is also the second largest city in Nevada. Demographically, the Third District is 69.32% White, 7.8% African American, 14.85% Asian, and 15.66% Hispanic. The third district also has the highest number of eligible voters at 521,486 people. While this is by no means an outlier, it does have around 7,000 more than any other district, a noticeable difference.

Fourth District

The Fourth District is an entirely new seat, granted to Nevada because of its remarkable population growth. The district is almost entirely constructed from the old Second District. It currently contains the counties of Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye, and White Pine, and small parts of Clark and Lyon. Much like the Second, the Fourth is both large and rural. It has a population density of only 13.2 per square mile, although it has a population which is just one person short of the ideal. Of these residents, 61.57% are White, 15.67% are African America, 6.82% are Asian and 27.26% are Latino. The Fourth, being a young district, also has the youngest constituents. Only 490,160 residents are eligible to vote, almost 20,000 less than any other district.