North Carolina’s congressional delegation will not be getting any larger in the next 10 years after Census totals confirmed that the state had not grown enough since 2000 to warrant an additional congressional district. So the state will maintain its current 13 districts, but the state legislature will be in charge of redrawing the lines on those 13 seats to account for shifting populations.
The guidelines for redistricting at the congressional level are a little different than those for the state, with one of the key differences being that the “whole county provision” does not apply to federal seats. State legislators must still conform to the Voting Rights Act, population equality standards and ensure that districts are contiguous.
Each of North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts grew in population over the last decade, with the largest growth occurring in District 9 in the Charlotte area. The 9th district added 233,199 people since 2000 giving it a growth rate of 33.7 percent. District 1 in the northeast part of the state had the smallest growth adding only 16,758 people for a growth rate of 2.7 percent. District 4 in the Triangle area added 207,000 people (a growth rate of 33.5 percent). These three districts pretty clearly illustrate where the highest growth is occurring in the state.
The ideal population size of each district is now 733,499 people. To get a sense of how fast North Carolina as a whole is growing, in 1990 the ideal population size for a congressional district was only 552,386. So each member of congress now represents almost 200,000 more people than they would have in 1990.