California Projected To Lose Congressional Seat. Final Result to Depend on Census Response from Hard to Count Communities.
California is projected to lose a congressional seat for the first time next year, while Texas and Florida will likely gain seats, according to an analysis of new Census data by the Brookings Institution’s William Frey.
Every 10 years, after the US government conducts its comprehensive census, the House’s representatives are reapportioned by state.
For most, this doesn’t lead to a change. For those that grew much faster or slower than the country as a whole, it can mean gaining or losing power.
ast-growing Texas gained four seats after the 2010 Census as its population exploded. New York lost two seats.
Based on 2018 population estimates, the Wall Street Journal estimated which states are likely to gain or lose House seats after the 2020 Census.
Since California’s share of the US population has remained relatively stable, and it gained its very last representative in 2010, a slight change to Montana’s population can make the difference. It would be the first time ever that California lost a seat.
The projected drop from 53 to 52 seats in the House of Representatives will lead to a reshuffling of the state’s political map, and potentially divisive congressional races between incumbents in 2022.
California’s population grew by less than half a percentage point in 2018 — the slowest growth rate in its 17-decade history. More people left California than those who moved here from other states or foreign countries between July 2018 and July 2019, according to state data, with a net outflow of about 40,000 people.
In a statement made to the San Jose Mecrury News, the chief of the state government’s Demographic Research Unit Eddie Hunsinger explained “California is still gaining population from having more births than deaths and people moving from abroad, but we’ve had net domestic migration losses for a number of years now.”
Of course, the state-by-state projections are just estimates for now — and the final results will depend on how willing people are to respond to the census.
A major undercount of California’s population could theoretically lead to the state losing even more voices in Congress.
The state has larger-than-average populations considered “hard to count,” such as recent immigrants, minorities, renters and people who don’t speak English fluently.