New TAC interactive tool shows population-bracketed statutes by county

2020 population shifts affect applicability of Texas statutes


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Texas county population data from the 2020 U.S. census is essential, not only for electoral redistricting, federal funding allocations and determining representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, but also for applicability of hundreds of Texas statutes that include population brackets.

For the first time, Texas counties have a centralized place in which to view the statutes that apply to them based on their 2020 population, thanks to an interactive population bracket map from the Texas Association of Counties’ Legal Services department.

“When a county uses this new tool, the resulting information will be tailored to that county,” says TAC General Counsel Michael Pichinson. “Our goal is to save counties time while making the information more broadly accessible and usable.”

To use the new tool, select a county and receive a list of relevant population-bracketed statutes, based on the county’s 2020 population. This list includes the code, section, subject and population criteria for each applicable statute. The list can also be exported in several familiar formats (Word, Excel, PDF, CSV and XML).

Close to 1,000 Texas statutes relevant to counties include population brackets based on the most recent federal decennial census (Texas Government Code §§311.005, 312.011). These statutes establish an upper or lower limit, or both, for the target counties. That means if your population changed with the 2020 census, your county may be subject to new requirements or, conversely, may no longer be subject to such requirements. Is the county required to have a joint county and district clerk? How many hours of early voting must a county provide each day during an election? Must a county auditor be appointed or is it discretionary? The answers to these questions and hundreds of others are driven by a county’s population according to the census.

And TAC’s new tool seeks to compile such information. Bookmark it at www.county.org/population-bracket-map.