Shifting population to affect seats on Capitol Hill

Republished with permission by Knowhere News

According to Census Bureau figures released Monday, some states that traditionally vote Democratic are going to lose congressional seats, and states that traditionally vote Republican will gain them.

West Virginia, Minnesota, California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island are all expected to lose a congressional district. Texas is expected to gain two seats, and Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon are expected to each gain a congressional seat.

The figures also revealed the natural increase of the nation’s population (births minus deaths) fell below one million for the first time in decades because of fewer births and more deaths.

“While natural increase is the biggest contributor to the U.S. population increase, it has been slowing over the last five years,” said Dr. Sandra Johnson, a demographer and statistician in the Population Division of the Census Bureau, in a statement. “Natural increase, or when the number of births is greater than the number of deaths, dropped below 1 million in 2019 for the first time in decades.”

Over the last year, the population grew at the slowest rate in a 100 years, the Brookings Institution concluded. The population was 328,239,523 in 2019, growing by only 0.5%, or 1.5 million people, between 2018 and 2019.

By December 2020, congressional districts will be doled out to the states based on their population, but details will be hammered out in 2021 by state legislatures. It is difficult to predict which political party will emerge more powerful from the reallocation of districts since the political party in the majority redraws those districts. The party controlling state legislatures will be determined during the 2020 elections.

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