UPDATED 7:06 AM PT – Tuesday, April 27, 2021
The battle over how districts are drawn up has commenced after the U.S. Census Bureau released their first batch of data detailing U.S. demographics. State legislators and independent commissions are now champing-at-the-bit to hash out how to redraw congressional districts.
Data regarding the U.S. population shows America grew by nearly 7.5 percent or by more than 22 million people in the past ten years. This marks the second slowest decade of growth for the U.S. population in our nations history coming in behind the 1930’s.
The Census Bureau just released the first #2020Census results, which included the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Here are the results 👇 https://t.co/RHvocjkXow #Apportionment #CensusBureau pic.twitter.com/2QuyrHccDJ
— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) April 26, 2021
The data shows Americans migrated to several Republican-run states in the South and Mountain West regions. Additionally, Texas gained the most people numerically while picking up two more seats in the House of Representatives. However, Utah touted the fastest growth rate.
“Utah was the fastest growing state with an 18.4 percent increase in population growing to 3.3 million,” stated Dr. Ron Jarmin, Acting Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. “On the other hand, three states lost population with West Virginia having the largest rate of decrease at 3.2 percent.”
Several other states experienced a slow down in their growth rates, including Nevada’s drop from 66 percent to 15 percent. Additionally, California’s growth rate was the slowest in the state’s history.
“Six states will gain seats in the House of Representatives: Texas will gain two seats and Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one seat,” Dr. Jarmin continued. “Seven states will each lose one seat in the House: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.”
Political analysts are gearing up to see how the census numbers will affect future elections. Following the 1929 Reapportionment Act, bodies tasked with drawing up districts will have to shuffle some around to make 435 seats.
Along with Texas, six other primarily red states gained a seat in the House. This includes Florida, Montana and North Carolina. These will be taken from several blue states who lost a seat, including California and New York.
California’s loss marks the first time the Golden State lost a seat since it came into the union in 1850. Additionally, New York missed out on adding a congressional seat by less than 100 people.
“What we have is that if New York had had 89 more people, they would have received one more seat instead of the last state that received their last seat,” explained Kristin Koslap, senior technical expert for the U.S. Census Bureau. “There are 435 seats, so the last seat went to Minnesota and New York was next in line.”
However, some experts said the census data is not all positive for Republicans. Several said migration patterns show historical population gains in large Sunbelt states are spilling over into key swing states like Arizona and Georgia.
In the meantime, political strategists are looking ahead to the 2022 midterm elections as congressional hopefuls will be competing on a new congressional map. Strategists will keep an eye out for shifts in the Electoral College as they plan for the 2024 presidential election.