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States That Have the Most to Gain (and Lose) From the Census

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    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.

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    This seems perfectly logical to me, now. I wasn't aware of the full implications of a Census on politics until recently. But it clicked when I understood that 435 seats are divided up between the 50 states, all based on population. And of course they get that info from the Census. I guess I never thought too deeply into it, figuring that city, county and state counts updated all the time and they must be using constantly updated numbers.

    Now helps to understand Electoral College point system too. You get one point, or one elector, for every representative you have for your state, which equals the number of House Reps + 2 Senators per state.

    So that's how the Census can in a real way change presidential elections, among all other elections, both on the local, state and federal level.

    Agree on Texas btw. Turning more and more purple.

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    This definitely could be a huge deal for Texas. And I agree, it could become a big battle state for elections. I do know there is a correlation between California losing a seat, and Texas gaining seats. Californians have been moving to Texas in droves over the past 5 years to escape steep living expenses, and to find more employment opportunities. It's been big enough of a deal where Texans are complaining about it. Not to mention, people have been flocking from other states to live in Texas. Having lived in Dallas for 15 years, I can say without a doubt that the population increase is noticeable. Rush hour here used to be from 5 to 6:30, and now it's more like from 4:30 to 7.

    I'm actually surprised that Nevada isn't in the list of states projected to gain a seat or two. Nevada has been experiencing the same type of population increase due to the Californian exodus, but Nevada's is mainly over cheaper real estate, and it being so close to Californians' places of work.