Patterico's Pontifications

4/26/2021

It’s Official: California and New York to Lose One House Seat Each, Florida to Gain One, Texas to Gain Two

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:50 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Remember how we actually had a census last year? I know, it’s hard for me to recall that too given everything that was going on. But we’ve apparently counted everybody up and today the U.S. Census Bureau announced the winners and losers in the House Seat Sweepstakes. Here’s what we learned:

* The overall population of the fifty United States increased in the past decade by about 7.1%, reaching 331.1 million people last year compared to just a tick under 309.2 million people back in 2010. (Note, there are just under 690,000 U.S. citizens residing in the District of Columbia and almost 3.3 million in Puerto Rico.)

* Texas, with a population growth of almost four million people in the past decade pushing the population over the 29 million mark, will gain two House seats.

* Colorado (14.6% population growth), Florida (+14.1%), Montana (+9.2%), North Carolina (+9.3%), and Oregon (+10.2%) will each gain one representative.

* California (+6.0%), Illinois (.32% population loss), Michigan (+1.7%), New York (+4.1%), Ohio (+2.1%), Pennsylvania (+2.2%), and West Virginia (-3.5%) will each lose one representative.

* The total population growth of the states which gained a House member is 13.7% for the decade, and the total growth rate of the states which lost a House member is 3.4% for the decade.

This is a slightly better outcome for the losing states than some had predicted earlier this year when it was thought that New York might lose two seats and that Texas could pick up as many as three and Florida perhaps two. Breathing a sigh of relief are states that might otherwise have been docked a seat such as Rhode Island (+4.3%), and disappointed are states like Arizona (+12.0%) who stood a chance to gain one.

Looking at the past two Presidential elections, this new alignment would have delivered Donald Trump one more electoral vote in 2016:

Trump 2016: Texas +2, Florida +1, Montana +1, North Carolina +1 vs. Michigan -1, Ohio -1, Pennsylvania -1, West Virginia -1 for a net of +1
Clinton 2016: Colorado +1, Oregon +1 vs. California -1, Illinois -1, New York -1, for a net of -1

and in 2020 he would have received a net result of three more electoral votes:

Trump 2020: Texas +2, Florida +1, Montana +1, North Carolina +1 vs. Ohio -1 and West Virginia -1, for a net of +3
Biden 2020: Colorado +1, Oregon +1 vs. California -1, Illinois -1, Michigan -1, New York -1, Pennsylvania -1, for a net of -3

So obviously it would not have impacted either of the last two elections. In the razor-thin 2000 election, this new map would have added four electoral votes to George W. Bush’s tally, as the states mostly align with their 2020 results with the exception of Colorado which went for Gov. Bush.

Looking ahead to 2031, it’s kind of hard to get a bead on which states stand to gain or lose should population trends continue as they have the past ten years. The upper-Midwest industrial states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Illinois might find themselves once again facing subtraction. Arkansas and Mississippi in the Deep South along with Kansas in the heartland and Connecticut and Rhode Island in New England are in danger unless they can turn around their sluggish growth (Mississippi actually saw its population slip by 0.5% over the past decade). On the other side, states which barely missed out on adding a Representative this time around such as Arizona, Idaho, Georgia, and Washington are probably next in line to gain a seat (again, assuming continued growth), and both Texas and Florida could make further gains if they continue to rapidly grow.

– JVW

50 Responses to “It’s Official: California and New York to Lose One House Seat Each, Florida to Gain One, Texas to Gain Two”

  1. An interesting sub-story is that New York might not have lost that seat, and instead it could have been Minnesota who was dinged according to the Census Bureau, had the Empire State found 89 more residents (or had Andrew Cuomo not sentenced them to death in nursing homes) or if 26 fewer residents of the Gopher State had failed to fill-out their census info.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. JVW (ee64e4) — 4/26/2021 @ 3:55 pm

    (or had Andrew Cuomo not sentenced them to death in nursing homes)

    If they lived until April 1, they were supposed to be counted.

    The Census follow-up was getting increasingly futile.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  3. That margin for the Land of 9,999 taxes (Ventura and Pawlenty did what they could) could have been one lucky mailbox in Lyn-Lake that didn’t catch fire the lady week of May.

    urbanleftbehind (cbe01b)

  4. I expected New York to lose two seats, although maybe the population was down enough so that it lost only one. I am surprised it nearly did not lose one.

    You have to be wary of double counting.

    Although also there were people who left after April 1 and did not come back by September.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  5. *last

    urbanleftbehind (cbe01b)

  6. But this article implies that some of that movement was out to Suffolk and to the Hudson Valley between Poughkeepsie and Albany:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/04/19/upshot/how-the-pandemic-did-and-didnt-change-moves.html

    urbanleftbehind (cbe01b)

  7. “Some” are saying that Trump’s attempt to find out residency status caused a noticable number of undocumented residents to avoid the census. Look to Biden to try to adjust it, because racism.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. I propose a new rule: Any state with more than 25 House seats must split.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. “Changes in latitudes; changes in attitudes; nothing remains quite the same…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot3JJ0wv2G0

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  10. I downloaded the spreadsheets from the Census site and was playing around with them, estimating a 2030 population based upon the exact same growth rate as we have had over the past 10 years, though that’s kind of a silly assumption to make. In any case, if the trends from 2010-2020 miraculously hold through 2020-2030, then here is what I would forecast (states are listed in order of their population):

    Gaining seats: Texas (2), Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Washington, Arizona, Idaho

    Losing seats: Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island

    Wildcards: Florida might gain two seats, New York may again lose one.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  11. If 2010-2020 trends hold, then ten years from now:

    * Colorado moves up to the eighteenth most populous state, surpassing Maryland and Missouri
    * Minnesota moves past rival Wisconsin for the twenty-first spot
    * Oregon leap-frogs Kentucky for the twenty-sixth spot
    * Utah overtakes Connecticut for thirtieth
    * Nevada moves ahead of Iowa for thirty-second
    * Mississippi drops down below Kansas to thirty-sixth
    * Iowa vaults ahead of Nebraska for thirty-eighth
    * Montana edges ahead of Rhode Island for forty-fourth

    and
    * Georgia possibly catches Ohio to move to the seventh spot
    * Tennessee has a shot at grabbing fifteenth place away from Massachusetts
    * Nevada could conceivably pass Connecticut for thirty-first
    * Idaho possibly surpasses New Mexico for thirty-seventh

    JVW (ee64e4)

  12. JVW (ee64e4) — 4/26/2021 @ 6:00 pm

    * Nevada moves ahead of Iowa for thirty-second

    and

    * Nevada could conceivably pass Connecticut for thirty-first

    Quite a gain for a one-time pocket borough.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  13. New Mexico had a stunning decline in growth, the slowest growth since statehood:

    Decade ending:

    1920: 10.10%
    1930: 17.47%
    1940: 25.63%
    1950: 28.09%
    1960: 39.61%
    1970: 6.94%
    1980: 28.14%
    1990: 16.25%
    2000: 20.06%
    2010: 13.20%
    2020: 2.83%

    https://www.abqjournal.com/2384272/nm-growth-rate-falls-to-historic-low.html

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. STOP THE STEAL!

    California won this census by a landslide.

    Fight like hell!

    (And send me money while you’re at it.)

    Dave (1bb933)

  15. Gavin Newsom can talk all he wants about how great California is, but the proof is before us. People are leaving for other states.

    He can bluster, like Trump did with Covid, or he can get busy addressing the problems that are causing people to flee.

    norcal (01e272)

  16. Yeah, well, it’s all fine and good to blame Newsom, but did you stop and consider that the Republican frontrunners, in both this and the last recall election, are both guys who shave their legs? What does that tell you about what the California electorate wants?

    nk (1d9030)

  17. Sounds about right. I like CA, I chose to live here, after all, but it’s too darned expensive if you are just starting out.

    Colorado is a great place to live, I’d live there before Texas, but it’s also going to price itself out if it keeps going the way it is.

    Montana is lovely during the short period it is possible to stand outside without freezing to death, but no, I would not live there. (if you have to live in a place where you can freeze to death for 3/4 of the year, I guess it’s a better choice than the Dakotas.)

    If things keep up the way they are going, Texas will need to take a hard look at it’s infrastructure (maybe it already does).

    Nic (896fdf)

  18. Dave @14:

    What’s the issue? The seat they lost will turn out to be a Republican seat.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. At least Gavin’s disgrace will be on the ballot.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  20. For those who think AOC’s district is in danger. Sorry! It will be a upstate republican district that disappears.

    asset (f4d81c)

  21. Asset,

    It might benefit the Republicans in the Electoral College, but as for the House of Representatives, when blue states lose a seat it’s a chance to make sure it’s a Republican who disappears, while when red states gain seats, particularly if they’re a little purple, it’s not as easy to ensure those are red seats.

    Victor (4959fb)

  22. asset (f4d81c) — 4/26/2021 @ 11:30 pm

    For those who think AOC’s district is in danger. Sorry! It will be a upstate republican district that disappears.

    I think it will be the district in Long Island that used to be represented by Peter King, unless a different Republican seat becomes vacant, or a Democratic one becomes vacant and is win by a Republican in a by-election.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  23. Censure, schmensure…I think a certain IL congresswoman lost her seat when she invoked Godwins law at a pre-January 6 rally. Ideally, Adam Kinzinger would be given some ‘never-T yet Repub’ strongholds in the inner Chicago suburbs, for his good works, but likely no.

    Our own Sammy Finkleman’s theory about black districts always having to grow outward and consume more territory in the following census (due to the expression of dissatisfaction with living conditions) will really be put to the test with the 3 south and west side Chicago districts (4th if you consider Lauren Underwood’s exurban crescent district electorally functions like the Mike Garcia district in CA, capturing the tail ends of black suburban diaspora).

    urbanleftbehind (232dc5)

  24. @21

    Asset,

    It might benefit the Republicans in the Electoral College, but as for the House of Representatives, when blue states lose a seat it’s a chance to make sure it’s a Republican who disappears, while when red states gain seats, particularly if they’re a little purple, it’s not as easy to ensure those are red seats.

    Victor (4959fb) — 4/27/2021 @ 3:35 am

    I doubt that.

    The majority party is going to gerrymander the crap out of it to make sure it’s the opposition party will lose the seat.

    whembly (2900b2)

  25. California’s exodus isn’t all about politics, I would guess. You have wildfires, water shortages, earthquakes, mudslides…

    I can imagine the scenic views and mild weather ameliorate the natural disasters only so much before you pack up and move.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  26. @24, Gerrymandering is a blight on our political culture.

    Time123 (36651d)

  27. On top of the fickle weather and natural disasters, you have astronomically high costs of living in California urban areas. Can’t imagine too many people willing to move to areas like San Jose and San Francisco unless they make a lot of money to afford living there.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  28. @26 Yup. But when the other side shows no interest to disarm, it’s silly not to as well.

    whembly (7baeb9)

  29. Whembly, agreed, I’m not sure what the fix is, but the problem is real. And trading which party gets to gerrymander isn’t a fix.

    Time123 (306531)

  30. Gerrymandering is as American as apple pie.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  31. Democrats support gerrymandering again. No surprise.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  32. NJRob, They’ve always supported it when it helps them. Plenty of examples of that.

    They=GOP and DEMS.

    Time123 (36651d)

  33. I wonder if Texas and Arizona (perhaps) decided it was better to have a lower or no gain, so long as it was as solely comprised of lawful residents as possible – FL probably has a comparable # to concern itself with, but they seem to “convert/switch” faster. Also surprised TN didnt gain, given the conversations within the cohort of 50+ ers in Illinois.

    urbanleftbehind (232dc5)

  34. An interesting and thorough discussion of the political impacts of the census can be found here:
    https://redstate.com/shipwreckedcrew/2021/04/27/the-re-apportionment-of-congressional-seats-promises-some-surprises-in-the-future-n369710

    TW2020 (824a6b)

  35. Dave @14:

    What’s the issue?

    What’s the issue?!

    California beat the next largest state by like ten million, and we’re LOSING seats?! Disgraceful.

    My people tell me these census forms were almost exclusively submitted by mail, which means FRAUD. And why did it take a whole year to count them? I think we know why.

    But it gets worse. Apparently these things were mailed out to everyone, even people who didn’t request them. Can you believe it?

    The seat they lost will turn out to be a Republican seat.

    So, one more vote for stealing the next election from the rightful winner then?

    Excellent.

    Dave (1bb933)

  36. I bet that almost none of those census forms came back from registered census participants.

    Some even came back from overseas … places like Afghanistan, Germany and Japan!

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. Gerrymandering is a blight on our political culture.

    It happens elsewhere, too. There are ways to stop it, some of them organic, but to change the rules you have to be in power and well….

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. The best way to end gerrymanders, requiring no supervision, is single-vote-multiple-seat districts. If everyone gets just one vote and the top three are elected, there is really no good way to get over.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. Let’s keep California’s situation in some factual perspective.

    The national average growth rate was 7%, and California’s growth rate was 6%. There is no net “exodus”, there is a (slightly) slower rate of growth.

    I don’t see slower growth as inherently bad. It means less traffic, less pollution, less environmental damage, less crowds, less noise.

    We’re still the cultural capital of the galaxy, with the best university system anywhere.

    Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

    Dave (1bb933)

  40. Democrats support gerrymandering again. No surprise.

    And Republicans don’t?? Seriously??

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  41. @38

    The best way to end gerrymanders, requiring no supervision, is single-vote-multiple-seat districts. If everyone gets just one vote and the top three are elected, there is really no good way to get over.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 4/27/2021 @ 11:36 am

    I disagree. That flies in the face of representative democracy.

    The best way to end gerrymanders, or at least mitigate it, is to have more Representatives…a lot more. However, not sure how practical an 1000 seat House would operate.

    There’s pluses and minuses in whichever system we choose.

    whembly (7baeb9)

  42. @40

    Democrats support gerrymandering again. No surprise.

    And Republicans don’t?? Seriously??

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/27/2021 @ 11:51 am

    Of course GOP does it too. See Mississippi’s Congressional District. Hell, look at Missouri’s!

    whembly (7baeb9)

  43. @30

    Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

    Dave (1bb933) — 4/27/2021 @ 11:43 am

    Love, LOVE visiting California.

    But, no employer could pay me enough to live there. (yes, even you Google).

    whembly (7baeb9)

  44. The best way to end gerrymanders, requiring no supervision, is single-vote-multiple-seat districts. If everyone gets just one vote and the top three are elected, there is really no good way to get over.

    Not a very feasible solution for congressional districts.

    I think having computers do it is the obvious solution. You have the computer generate (say) 10,000 different maps, according to some very basic sanity constraints, and then pick the median map with respect to predicted representation. Done.

    Dave (1bb933)

  45. 17.Sounds about right. I like CA, I chose to live here, after all, but it’s too darned expensive if you are just starting out.

    Moved to California in 1994. Gasoline was 99 cents a gallon, it rained at least once a month… and grocery bags were free. Today, gas is nerly $5/gallon, it routinely goes 5 months w/o significant rainfall and grocery bags cost a dime.

    Time to leave.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  46. Where are you going to go, DCSCA? You’re welcome here in Reno. You can even be my neighbor if you promise not to mention Reagan. 🙂

    norcal (01e272)

  47. DCSCA and Col. Haiku as neighbors
    would be reality show manna.

    urbanleftbehind (1e84b1)

  48. Whatever happened to Colonel Haiku, UBL?

    norcal (01e272)

  49. 3 things re CH:
    -lost his mom, I think, in 2019 or early 2020.
    -Left California for southern Utah
    -was more of a Trump partisan than average Patterico poster and may have left about the same time as Narciso because of the perceived NT bias.

    urbanleftbehind (27f84e)

  50. Thanks, UBL!

    I knew about the first thing, and had an inkling about the second, but I didn’t know that he moved to southern Utah.

    I’m from Utah, and go back to visit often. I wish I could see the Colonel on one of my trips there. We have a lot in common in terms of Mormonism, cars, and music.

    norcal (01e272)


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