U.S. Census Reshapes Congressional Seats

Every ten years the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of U.S. residents used in the determination of various demographical programs. The Census Bureau count also reallocates seats in the House of Representatives based on population changes among the states. The appropriation of seats is known as apportionment, which allocates the 435 seats in the House of Representatives among the 50 states. This process is mandated by the U.S. Constitution under Article 1, Section 2, requiring a census and apportionment every ten years. 

Results from the 2020 Census show that the U.S. population grew to 331,449,281 as of April 1, 2020, a 7.4% increase from the 2010 Census, the slowest rate since the Great Depression. Population shifts in various states gave some states more House seats while others lost House seats. The states that gained seats are Texas, Colorado, Florida, Montana, N. Carolina and Oregon. Seats were lost for California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and W. Virginia.

Seat appointments are critical for politicians as they strive to pass and halt particular bills and legislation affecting everything from taxes to benefit payments.

States that saw the largest percentage gains in population include Utah, Idaho, Texas, N. Dakota, and Nevada, while Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Ohio, and Michigan experienced the slowest population gains. Economists believe that changes in industry and job markets caused migrations from some states to others over the past ten years.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau;RELEASE NUMBER CB21-CN.30

Print Version: Congressional Seats Update May 2021

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