Shifting populations in the U.S. could mean Democrat strongholds like New York and California lose congressional seats to Republican states like Texas and Florida when boundaries are redrawn next year, according to new analysis.
The U.S. Census Bureau released figures Tuesday showing how populations have changed in the last year.
New York has seen more residents leave in the past year than any other state, with 126,355 people fleeing the Empire State between July 2019 and July 2020, the Bureau revealed.
And analysis of the statistics by The Brookings Institution suggests they could lose congressional seats, when the official 2020 Census results are released next year, along with a new legislative map.
An estimated 126,000 people have left New York in the past year, representing 0.65 per cent
William Frey, chief demographer for the Brookings Institution, predicts that New York will lose one congressional seat, taking the state to 26.
California would lose one of its seats in the House for the first time, bringing it to 52.
Florida meanwhile would overtake New York for the first time in history, gaining two seats for a total of 29.
Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island would also all lose a seat.
The biggest gains would be mostly in the South and West.
Texas would gain three seats, giving it 39, while Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, North Carolina and Montana would each gain one seat.
More people have left New York in the last year than any other year since data records began
POTENTIAL WINNERS AND LOSERS IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
States that would lose seats
Alabama (1 lost)
California (1 lost)
Illinois (1 lost)
Michigan (1 lost)
Minnesota (1 lost)
New York (1 lost)
Ohio (1 lost)
Pennsylvania (1 lost)
West Virginia (1 lost)
States that would gain seats
Texas (3 gained)
Florida (2 gained)
Arizona (1 gained)
Montana (1 gained)
Colorado (1 gained)
North Carolina (1 gained)
Oregon (1 gained)
Changes forecast by Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution
The census, which is carried out every 10 years, determines how the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are divided among the 50 states, based on the population changes recorded.
Frey used the census population estimates, and combined them with similar estimates over the last decade.
He then applied an algorithm designed to calculate reapportionment by experts at the University of Michigan.
The official legislative map, based on the 2020 Census, will be released next year.
New York’s population decreases mean that the population fell by 0.65 per cent, The New York Post reported.
New York’s population has been falling since 2016, but the most recent drop was significantly larger than in previous years.
Reasons were not given in the data, but New York’s cost of living and lack of space certainly drives people to look for alternatives. Remote working opportunities have also enabled people to move further afield.
The numbers, tallied by July, were somewhat affected by COVID-19, but the trend was apparent before the pandemic. Part of last year’s sharp decline is due to more deaths and restrictions in immigration.
Illinois was the state with the second-largest population drop, losing 0.63 per cent of their residents.
Hawaii lost 0.61 per cent and West Virginia lost 0.58 per cent.
In the year that ended July 1, 2020, the United States population grew at its slowest rate since around 1900, when the government began conducting the data.
The new data also shows that when the 2020 census numbers are announced, the 2010-to-2020 decade growth rate could be the lowest in any decade since the first census was conducted 1790.
New York’s population reduction will likely see their representation in Washington reduce
Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Oregon are among the states to benefit from an increase
Population growth in the U.S. had already been sluggish even before the virus, because of a dip in fertility and immigration restrictions.
But Frey pointed to the at least 322,000 American lives lost to COVID-19 since March as making the stagnant-growth trend worse.
‘I think it’s a first glimpse of where we may be heading as far as low population growth,’ Frey told The Associated Press.
‘It’s telling you that this is having an impact on population.’