Florida Poised to Surpass New York in Congressional Seats
New York and California are projected to each lose a U.S. congressional seat due to population declines, while Texas and Florida, which are attracting more residents, will be among the biggest winners.
Since the census is just four months away, “we are now at a place where the rubber meets the road,” said Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services Inc., a political consulting firm specializing in redistricting and analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Population projections could still change which states are affected by the estimates, he added.
In all, 15 states may be affected by the once-a-decade congressional reapportionment, according to the estimates, which are based on newly available U.S. Census population data and projected forward to 2020. Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon are each expected to gain a single seat while Florida would gain two and Texas three.
The loss of a seat in California would be the first since statehood in 1850. It will still be the most populous U.S. state and remain the largest delegation with 52 congressional districts.
After the 2020 congressional apportionment, Florida is projected to have a larger delegation than New York, with 29 seats compared to New York’s 26. They each now have 27.
New York peaked at 45 seats after the 1940 census. The Empire State, which was 577,000 more populous than Florida as of the 2010 census, is now more than 2 million people behind the Sunshine State.
Among states with a diminished role, California and New York will be joined by Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia which are each projected to lose one seat.
The number of House seats is capped at 435. Each state has two U.S. senators and at least one House seat, regardless of population.
After the 2010 census, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia all gained seats. Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts lost seats.
The U.S. Census Bureau projected the U.S. population at 330,222,422 on Jan. 1, 2020. This represents an increase of 21,476,884 or 7% since the last decennial count in 2010.
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