The Census Bureau, using data from its most recent American Community Survey, on Thursday released its first demographic portraits of the new congressional districts created by the states in late 2011 and early 2012.
The data help explain why Democrat Julia Brownley prevailed over Republican Tony Strickland last fall in Ventura County's 26th Congressional District -- and how, unless Republicans improve their standing among Latinos, women and young voters, the district could favor Democrats for the rest of the decade.
For starters, it puts the Latino share of the district population at 43 percent. It also shows that women outnumber men by about 6,000.
More striking -- and perhaps, to Republicans, ominous -- is the age breakdown of district residents. It shows that about half of district residents are under 35 and that there are large numbers of young people just reaching, or approaching, voting age -- 52,949 are between ages 15 and 19, and 51,149 age between ages 10 and 14. Given that a majority of Ventura County children are Latino, that suggests the electorate will become increasingly Latino as the decade progresses.
The number of residents between 10 and 20 is greater than the number of senior citizens in the district. There are 89,254 who are 65 and older -- an age cohort that is predominantly made up of non-Hispanic whites.