The U.S. Census Bureau released Illinois population and demographic data today.
Why is this important? Among other reasons, the data can be used to re-draw federal, state and local legislative districts.
Above, you can see one of the maps released by the Census Bureau depicting the percent change in population by county.
Below is an interactive map showing not only the by-county data, but also population data based upon race. Just hover your mouse over the state to explore the map.
Even more data will be available in the next 24 hours here.
Update with comment from legislators and more from the Associated Press:
Tuesday's numbers confirm state-population growth slowed to around 3 percent from 2000 to 2010.
Officials already broke the news in December that the slower growth will cost Illinois a congressional seat.
State Sen. Kwame Raoul is involved in redistricting. The Chicago Democrat says it's too early to say just how the Census data will affect the process.
He says he and fellow legislators will closely scrutinize the data. In the end, it will help determine what areas will see districts consolidated and how others will be redrawn.
Raoul says he hopes a proposed redistricting map will be finished by mid-May.