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2020 Census report: US tops 331M people; 6 states will gain Congressional seats, 7 will lose a seat

2020 Census
Posted at 2:07 PM, Apr 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — In their first release of official numbers from 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday the total population of this country has topped 331 million people.

The national head count is done once a decade and shows where the population grew and where it shrank. These numbers are used to figure out how many representatives each state gets in the House of Representatives, among other things.

Overall, the agency says the numbers show the south and west are growing over the last decade, while overall the northeast appears to be staying stagnant or losing populations.

Because of that, Texas will be getting two new House seats. Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one additional House seat.

Meanwhile, the data shows California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will each lose a seat in the House ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

This is the first time California has lost a seat.

Now, states who are gaining or losing seats will begin the process of redistricting ahead of the next election in less than two years. The changing number of representatives in the House will also impact the electoral college for the 2024 and 2028 presidential elections by changing how many electors there are for each of the states who are gaining or losing a House member.

Looking at the 2020 electoral college and comparing it to which states are gaining representatives and electors, some are seeing a slight advantage for Republicans in the next presidential election. Of the states gaining a seat, Texas, Florida, Montana and North Carolina all voted for President Trump in 2020.

The initial data also showed the population growth rate in this country declined, and was at its slowest rate since the Great Depression.

Deeper dives into the data released later this year and in the coming years will reveal more information about demographics and localized populations.

The release of the census data was delayed from the beginning of the year. There were massive hurdles the agency faced last year during the coronavirus pandemic to count every American, there were also legal fights on how former President Donald Trump's administration wanted to handle the process and efforts to exclude noncitizens.