2020 Census Results: Bureau Announces 331 Million U.S. People, Texas To Add Two Congressional Seats

In addition, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each win a seat in Congress.

California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will all lose seats in Congress ahead of the 2022 midterm election.

The results – which show that political power in the country is shifting from states in the Midwest and Northeast to states in the South and West – will have far-reaching impacts on many aspects of American life. , ranging from each state’s representation to Congress. in the amount each state will receive from the federal government. The numbers could change the political makeup of Congress and set in motion what will likely be controversial redistribution battles in the months to come.

And the numbers reflect states that are growing in both population and power. With Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Texas all winning seats – and therefore electoral votes – their political influence will increase over the next decade, largely at the expense of states like Pennsylvania, the ‘Ohio and Michigan.

The new figures represented a decrease in the rate of population growth compared to the growth between 2000 and 2010. This was only slightly higher than the rate of growth observed in the 1930s.

Census officials said they were “very confident in the quality of the data” they collected.

“While no census is perfect, we are confident that today’s 2020 census results meet our high data quality standards. Otherwise, we wouldn’t share them with you, ”said Acting Director Ron Jarmin.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo also expressed confidence in the results.

“2020 has brought unprecedented challenges – a global pandemic, destructive forest fires, the most active hurricane season on record, and civil unrest across the country. With all of this, the Census Bureau had to quickly adapt its operations to cope with these challenges, “she said Monday.

Some of the expectations of census experts were wrong. Some thought Texas would win three seats in total, not two, while others thought states like Arizona, which didn’t get a 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 had counted 89 more people in New York in the census and all other populations in the state remained the same, New York State would not have lost any district.

More detailed data will also be released in the coming months that states will use to help draw the boundaries of their congressional districts. The agency said those redistribution figures are expected to be released by the end of September.

Although the census will release counts for residents of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, their totals are not included in the overall population distribution because they do not have voting seats in the House, the said. agency.

The release of the data has been slow in coming, delayed both by the coronavirus pandemic and by controversial legal battles over how President Donald Trump’s administration has handled the process.

The Census Bureau announced in February that the numbers, which would normally come out on April 1, would be delayed. The office cited the coronavirus pandemic, and the difficulty the virus has created for those collecting census data, as the reason for the delay.
The process was also complicated by the Trump administration’s efforts to exclude non-citizens from the allocation of seats in Congress, a move that has drawn the office and the Republican administration into lengthy legal battles.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder responded to the announcement, saying that with the release of the numbers, “every state must now prepare for a fair and transparent redistribution process that includes public input.”

Holder, the leader of the National Democratic Redistribution Committee, a Democratic group aimed at tackling gerrymandering, added: “Make no mistake about it – the same Republican lawmakers who are pushing hundreds of anti-election bills forward to the level of the state have been very clear that they intend to manipulate the redistribution process to lock in their power. “

In the majority of states, maps are redesigned and accepted by state legislatures, many giving the state governor the power to approve or deny new districts. Only a handful of states rely on relatively independent commissions to determine new maps. Because Republicans have been more successful in winning state legislatures in recent years, the party has almost complete control over the process in a number of key states, such as Texas and Florida.

If Republicans set out to carve out increasingly diverse populations in the suburbs around some of the country’s largest cities – combining them with more reliable Republican voters in the suburbs and rural areas – the party will open up to demands. of racial gerrymandering. Democrats are ready to fight any attempt.

“The presumption that Republicans should get all these new seats just because they control the process is a presumption of gerrymandering,” said Kelly Ward Burton, chairman of the National Democratic Redistribution Committee. “And it’s illegal.”

Another issue facing both sides is how each should analyze the past four years of political change under Trump, a period when Democrats have amassed considerable ground in the suburbs and Republicans are making inroads with Latino communities. -american women in places like South Florida and South Texas and build support among rural voters.

The question for the party officials in charge of the redistribution process will be whether to treat these changes as aberrations or signs of more lasting changes.

“For the people who did this thing ten years ago, if they had known that Donald Trump was going to come in 2016 and move the American electorate, there are at least a few dozen seats across the country that would have been drawn differently from them, “said Adam Kincaid, head of the National Republican Redistricting Trust.” And that’s the challenge for the next few years to try to predict how permanent this realignment is versus how temporary. “

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