Hints On The Census Effect On Reapportionment Of House Seats In 2012

The Election Data Service in Virginia has come up with estimates of how population shifts will affect reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives in 2012.

The estimates are based on the Census Bureau figures of July 1, 2009, which shows more than 307 million Americans.

The indications are that ten seats are likely to switch from one state to another, with the most likely scenario being that Texas will gain three seats; and all of the following states will gain one seat each: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.

Nine states are likely to lose seats, with Ohio losing two, and the following eight states losing one each: Louisiana, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

It should be noted that all states gaining seats are in the Sun Belt, and the only Sun Belt state to lose a seat is Louisiana, certainly due largely to the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This continues the long range switch of population from the Frost Belt Northeast and Midwest to the Sun Belt South and West.

At the same time, since there is still another nine months after the Census Bureau estimate to the actual Census Bureau count, there is a potential for some other changes based on small switches in population and the level of accuracy of the census count on April 1, 2010.

Texas and Arizona could gain one extra seat each beyond the projections. And Rhode Island could become the eighth state to have only one House seat if population projections go badly. Also, California, which has always gained a seat in every census since statehood in 1850, could actually lose a seat, and is not projected to gain a seat in any case. Finally, Minnesota is in danger of losing one of its eight House seats.

The housing market downturn and the recession can certainly have an effect on the final population totals for several states. Also, the more homeless people there are makes an accurate population count ever more difficult. So the future makeup of the House of Representatives is certainly still in play!

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