HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Hattiesburg leaders are looking into redistricting the city’s wards due to the population growth indicated by the 2020 Census.
On October 18, Pine Belt News reported the City Council heard from Chris Watson, who serves as principal planner at Bridge & Watson and will help advise the city on how to proceed.
“Wards 1 and 3 are over on what I call the western half of the city; Wards 2, 4, and 5 are the eastern half of the city,” Watson said. “The eastern half of the city is underpopulated, so to speak, and the western half of the city is overpopulated, so to speak. So the task at hand is that of growing the three eastern wards into a westerly direction, to shift that population to bring every ward into a population balance.”
According to census numbers, in 2010 the city had a population of 19,268 white individuals, a Black population of 24,391, and an “other” population of 2,332, for a total of 45,991. In 2020, those numbers were 19,494 white, 24,962 Black, and 4,274 “other,” for a total of 48,730.