2020 Census: 6 states gain Congress seats, 7 states lose seats
by Associated Press, April 27, 2021
WASHINGTON — The nation's political center of gravity shifted further to the Republican-led South and West on Monday, with Texas, Florida and other Sun Belt states gaining congressional seats while chillier climates like New York and Ohio lost them.
Altogether, the U.S. population rose to 331,449,281, the Census Bureau said, a 7.4 increase that was the second-slowest ever.
The new allocation of congressional seats came in the U.S. Census Bureau's first release of data from a 2020 headcount. The numbers chart familiar American migration patterns, and confirm one historic marker: For the first time in 170 years of statehood, California is losing a congressional seat, a result of slowed migration to the nation’s most populous state, which was once a symbol of the country’s expansive frontier.
The census release marks the official beginning of the once-a-decade redistricting battles. The numbers released Monday, along with more detailed data expected later this year, will be used by state legislatures or independent commissions to redraw political maps to account for shifts in population.
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Those shifts have largely been westward. Colorado, Montana and Oregon all added residents and gained seats. Texas was the biggest winner — the second-most populous state added two congressional seats, while Florida and North Carolina gained one. States losing seats included Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The reshuffling of the congressional map moved seats from blue states to red ones, giving Republicans a clear, immediate advantage. The party will have complete control of drawing the congressional maps in Texas, Florida and North Carolina — states that are adding four seats.
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