An unofficial census estimate predicts that New York will lose two congressional seats in the next round of redistricting, making it the nation’s biggest loser.
According to the Census Bureau, the numbers are not the official figures that come from the 2020 count of citizens. Rather they are drawn from estimates that use birth records, death records and other data to provide annual snapshots of approximate population changes in between each official census count.
The estimates project that New York state’s 2020 population is about 41,000 people lower than the state’s population in 2010. That contrasts with Texas, which is projected to add about 4.2 million people. Overall, the estimates project that the nation’s population rose by almost 21 million people between 2010 and 2020.
Some jabbed Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for presiding over the state’s population erosion.
— President-Elect Dadey (@TomDadeyJr) December 23, 2020
Either way, NY will soon send fewer representatives to Congress than we have since the 1810s, and it’s because policy has failed to stop population loss statewide. https://t.co/oH0dx3JYmI
— Seth Pollack (@sethmpk) December 23, 2020
NYS had led the nation in “out migration,” losing more people to other states than any state in America except Alaska (and in the case of Alaska, it is likely the weather). Population loss has only accelerated. We must do better… pic.twitter.com/Ewe8ZqGQS0
— Marc Molinaro (@marcmolinaro) December 22, 2020
If the estimates are accurate, seven states would add congressional seats and nine states would lose them, according to Roll Call. The 435 members of the House are apportioned by population, while the 100 Senate seats are divided up with two senators for each state.
California would lose a congressional seat for the first time in its history if the projections are the same as the final data.
Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota would also lose seats.
But as the Northeast and Midwest lose, the South and West gain.
Texas would gain three seats, according to the projections, while fellow red state Florida would add two seats.
Also projected to gain seats are North Carolina, Colorado, Montana, Arizona and Oregon.
“I think it’s really a continuation of what we’ve seen since 1930,” Kimball Brace, the president of Election Data Services, told Politico last year. “It is a movement away from the Northeast and the Upper Midwest to the South and to the West.”
Brace said the trend line impacts rural areas.
“The rural population and the rural power is basically diminishing very dramatically. I think you see that in Congress,” she told Roll Call.
New York state will see that played out as New York City gains power at the expense of the rest of the state, predicted Justin Levitt, a Loyola Law School professor.
Levitt said New York City has most of the state’s growth, and also the most minority voters. Rural upstate areas, meanwhile, are shrinking.
“Population trends indicate that population loss is upstate and, if anything, the minority population in places like New York City is growing,” Levitt said.
Although the census has an official Dec. 31 deadline for submitting its final count, information published by the National Conference of State Legislatures projects that the federal figures may not arrive by that time.
That’s a big deal for states, because state legislators are the ones who are given the chore of drawing new district lines. In some states, those new districts must be drawn before the 2021 elections. The new congressional districts will be in place for the 2022 elections.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.