New census figures mean rural areas lose clout

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - For most of its history, the interests of a rural, agrarian Virginia ruled the state's politics and its policy. That's about to change.

Meteoric growth in the state's suburbanized Washington, D.C., exurbs will shift the balance of legislative power into northern Virginia after legislative boundaries are redrawn this year.

Virginia grew by more than 1 million people from 2000 to 2010. Nineteen of the 100 House of Delegates districts and six of the 40 Senate districts had populations 10 percent or more beyond the population targets for the redrawn districts.

All are in a corridor from Loudoun County southeast through Richmond's suburbs and into Suffolk and other Hampton Roads communities.

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