In addition, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each receive a seat in Congress.
California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia will all lose congressional seats before the 2022 midterm elections.
The results – showing that the country’s political power is shifting from states in the Midwest and Northeast to states in the South and West – will have far-reaching implications for many aspects of American life, from how each state is represented in Congress to the amount of money which every state receives from the federal government. The numbers could change the political make-up of Congress and potentially spark controversial restructuring battles in the months ahead.
And the numbers reflect which states are growing in both population and power. With Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas all gaining seats – and therefore votes – their political clout will grow over the next decade, mostly at the expense of states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.
The new numbers represent a decline in population growth compared to growth between 2000 and 2010. It was only slightly higher than the growth rate in the 1930s.
Census officials said they were “very confident about the quality of the data they have collected”.
“While no census is perfect, we are confident that today’s 2020 census results meet our high data quality standards. We would not otherwise make them available to you,” said Acting Director Ron Jarmin.
Trade Minister Gina Raimondo was also confident about the results.
“2020 brought unprecedented challenges – a global pandemic, devastating forest fires, the most active hurricane season ever, and civil unrest. Given all of these events, the Census Bureau had to quickly adjust its operations to address these challenges head-on,” she said Monday .
Some of the expectations of census experts were wrong. Some believed that Texas would get three seats in total, not two, while others believed that states like Arizona that got no seat would add a house district. Experts also expected Minnesota and Rhode Island to lose a seat – neither, according to the Census Bureau.
However, some of the numbers were remarkably close. Census Bureau officials said if they counted 89 more people in New York during the census and all other state populations had stayed the same, New York state would not have lost a district.
More detailed data will also be released in the coming months to help states draw the boundaries of their congressional districts. The agency has announced that these redistribution censuses are expected to be published by the end of September.
Although the census will publish population numbers for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, their totals are not included in the total population of the breakdown because they don’t have electoral seats in the house, the agency said.
It has been a long time for the data to be released, delayed by both the coronavirus pandemic and controversial litigation over how President Donald Trump’s administration handled the process.
The Census Bureau announced in February that the numbers, which would normally be released by April 1st, would be delayed. The office cited the coronavirus pandemic and the difficulty the virus caused for those collecting census data as the reason for the delay. The process was also hampered by the Trump administration’s efforts to expel non-citizens when seats in Congress were split, a decision that landed the office and the Republican administration in lengthy litigation.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder responded to the announcement, saying that with the numbers released, “every state must now prepare for a fair and transparent redistribution process that includes public input”.
Holder, the head of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a Democratic group to fight gerrymandering, added, “Make no mistake – the same Republican lawmakers who drive hundreds of state-level bills against voters were very committed to realizing they intend to manipulate the redistribution process to lock in their power. “
Most states are redrawing maps and accepting state legislatures, with many empowering the state governor to either approve or reject the new districts. Only a handful of states rely on relatively independent commissions to determine new cards. With Republicans winning legislatures in recent years, the party has almost complete control of the process in a number of key states including Texas and Florida.
As Republicans in the suburbs of some of the country’s largest cities cut off increasingly diverse populations and combine these with more reliable Republican voters in the suburbs and rural areas, the party will open up to racist gerrymandering claims. Democrats are ready to oppose any attempt.
“The presumption that Republicans should get all these new seats just because they control the process is a gerrymandering presumption,” said Kelly Ward Burton, president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. “And that’s illegal.”
Another problem that both parties face is how each should analyze the past four years of political change under Trump. During this period, Democrats in the suburbs made significant strides and Republicans penetrated Latino communities in places like south Florida and south Texas and consolidated support among rural voters.
The question for party officials in charge of the restructuring process will be whether these shifts should be treated either as aberrations or as signs of more lasting change.
“For people who did this stuff a decade ago, if they had known Donald Trump was going to come along in 2016 and postpone American voters, there are at least a few dozen seats across the country that would have been filled differently from them.” “said Adam Kincaid, head of the National Republican Redistricting Trust.” And that is the challenge for the next few years to see to what extent this realignment is permanent or temporary. “