2020 Census Results: Which States Lose Or Gain House Seats
The 2020 census results show the continuation of trending population loss in the Northeast and migration to the Sun Belt. Seven states will lose a Congressional district as a result of the count and six will gain at least one seat. The 2020 results also mark changes in key swing states for the upcoming 2022 election cycle.
New York, California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia all lost one Congressional seat due to the 2020 count. Montana, North Carolina, Colorado, Oregon, and Florida gained one seat; Texas gained two seats.
New Congressional districts will be drawn by either state legislatures or independent commissions. Having maps drawn by state legislatures has been increasingly criticized in the build up to the 2020 census due to the likelihood of partisan gerrymandering. Politicians have tended to either intentionally break up groups of like-minded opposition voters, or do the opposite and manufacture a majority where it regularly would not exist, often by drawing misshapen or bizarre districts.
“The parties have this natural inclination to go for broke, say, ‘We’ve got a new seat, let’s grab it and take the opportunity we have,’” said Bernard Grofman, a political science professor at the University of California, Irvine told The New York Times. “Picking up new seats and stopping Joe Biden is going to have a high, high priority, even though they may pay a big political price down the road.”
Republicans need to flip five House seats in 2022 to control the chamber and the 2020 census results have only made the 2022 race less certain for Democrats hoping to maintain their majority. Republican state legislatures will draw the maps in key states like Florida, Texas and North Carolina. Ohio and West Virginia will also be redrawn by Republican-controlled state legislatures. States like New York and Illinois, however, are likely to remove Republican districts.