The U.S. Census Bureau on Monday released the long delayed House reapportionment numbers that reshuffle the 435 congressional districts among the 50 states, with several Sun Belt states such as Florida are set to lock in an additional seat while states from the Northeast and Midwest are set to lose one seat a piece due to population count — with New York was only just 89 residents short of keeping all of its 27 seats.
Congressional Apportionment and redistricting is the process that occurs every ten years, where it divides the 435 House seats and redistributes the political power according to the latest population count from each state. Based on the 2020 Census, population growth in states of North Carolina, Oregon, Montana and Colorado resulted in each state gaining a congressional seat to its delegations. Florida’s delegation will add a 28th congressional seat, added seats after each census since 1890. Texas, was the biggest winner of the apportionment count, picking up two reapportioned seats, increasing its congressional delegation from 36 to 38 seats.
As predicted, the nation’s largest state — California who experienced static population losses will lose a congressional district for the first time in its history. Six other big Midwest and Northeast that historically have backed Democrats will lose congressional seats and the electoral votes that come with them — including New York, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Empire State for the eight reapportionments in a row is posed to lose a House seat, shrinking its Congressional district from 27 to 26.
A census official said during a news conference New York fate was determined had it counted 89 additional people in the 2020 Census, the state would not have lost a congressional seat. New York will now carried less weight than it will following the midterm election in 2022. It is also the only state to see every decade in losing congressional seats after having a high of 45 seats back in the 1940s.
“There were 435 seats. The last seat went to Minnesota and New York was next in line,” Kristin Koslap, senior technical expert for 2020 Census Apportionment said in the news conference revealing the first results of the Census Bureau’s decennial survey. “If you do the algebra equation that determines how many they would have needed, it’s 89 people.”
Despite the population growth by 4 percent, with New York seeing about 20.2 million reported living in the state, up from just under 19.4 million in 2010, the rise wasn’t on pace from the big increase saw in other states. However, it also experienced negative net domestic migration, with more New York moving down south to states like Florida during the coronavirus pandemic than moving in.
“Today’s news that New York will lose another congressional seat is a sad but unsurprising commentary on Andrew Cuomo’s failed leadership,” New York Republican Party chairman Nick Langworthy said in a statement. “We have no future as a state when our federal representation continues to shrink, our jobs continue to be destroyed and our residents continue to flee to other states.”
Overall, the 2020 Census showed that the U.S population grew 308.7 million in 2010 to 331.4 million, a 7.35% increase. It is the second lowest rate of growth in Census Bureau history, since the decade of the Great Depression of 1930s to 1940s.
The once-a-decade national head count data leaves New York with fewer seats than Florida for the first time ever. The Sunshine State now surpasses the Empire States as the third-largest state in the country, behind California and Texas. On top of losing a seat, New York will also lose the distribution of about $1.5 trillion in federal funding each year until its next recount.
“Because of history, because of reapportionment, if I was a betting person I’d put my money on Republicans retaking the House,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) redistricting chair said.
States who lost seats may sue the Biden administration and challenge the apportionment count before the mid-August deadline, with specific redistricting data such as the demographic data on a more technical, geographic level will be released by the Census Bureau.
The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, formed in 2016 and led by former Attorney General Eric Holder are preparing to deploy an arsenal of legal challenge, bracing for GOP-friendly district lines as Republicans control the mapmaking process in states posed to gain a seats such as Florida and Texas. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers in Illinois and New York are poised to eliminate Republican seats in their home state when drawing the new maps.