The 2020 census is well under way and when all is said and done, some states will gain an additional seat (or more) in the U.S. House of Representatives while others will inevitably lose one (or more) seats. That is because the census is used to determine the number of Congressional seats each state will have for ten years, beginning in the 2022 midterm election.
States that have seen major population growth throughout the past ten years will likely see increased representation while states that have experienced population decline will unfortunately see their representation decreased. Increased representation typically results in increased federal investment while decreased representation unfortunately results in decreased federal investment. It is not hyperbole to suggest the stakes couldn't be higher.
States Projected to Gain Congressional Seats
Numerous southern and western states are projected to gain seats in the House of Representatives, with Texas projecting to gain a whopping three additional seats. Florida is projected to gain two seats while Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon are all projected to gain one.
If the projections hold, it will be the first time Montana has had more than one Representative since 1992.
States Projected to Lose Congressional Seats
Unfortunately what is one states gain is another states loss. That is because the House of Representatives is fixed at 435 members, so if one state gains seats they come at the expense of another state losing one.
States projected to lose one seat in the House of Representatives are Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
A states population can decline for any number of reasons, but the consequences of a decline can be felt for years to come. Once a state loses a Congressional district, it can take decades before getting it back (see Montana). On the other hand, it only makes sense to give states with more people more representation in Congress. It's unfortunate, but one states loss is another states gain.
It is also important to not put too much weight into the "left vs right" argument because it's impossible to know how a state will be voting years into the future. Sure, southern states are traditionally known as more right-leaning, but Texas, the state set to gain the most additional seats after all is said and done is rapidly turning into a "purple" state that could become the biggest battleground state in the country in the not-too-distant future.
Needless to say, the 2020 census will have a major impact on the trajectory of the country for the next decade or more. So no matter what state you live in, it is imperative to participate in it.