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Population dips in N.Y., Calif., other states could cost them House seats

By
Don Jacobson
Crowds of people are seen on May 19 in the Chinatown section of New York City. A new Census estimate shows that New York state has lost almost 130,000 residents since the middle of last year. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Crowds of people are seen on May 19 in the Chinatown section of New York City. A new Census estimate shows that New York state has lost almost 130,000 residents since the middle of last year. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The population in New York has declined recently more than any other state in the nation -- enough that it could ultimately cost two seats in Congress, according to new Census figures.

The Census Bureau said in its Vintage 2020 Population Estimates on Tuesday that New York's population declined by more than 126,000 residents between July 2019 and July of this year.

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If proven accurate by the ongoing decennial count, the decline would mean New York will lose a pair of congressional seats in the House, which are based on population size. Each state has two Senate representatives regardless of population.

California would also lose a seat for the first time in its history, along with Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota.

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Conversely, Texas, would gain three seats and Florida two. Other states with population growth that would net additional House seats are North Carolina, Colorado, Montana, Arizona and Oregon.

The Census arrives at its yearly estimates by starting with the population base measured in the 2010 Census, then adding births and net migration and subtracting deaths. The estimates are separate from the bureau's Census count every ten years.

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The estimate said the total U.S. population on July 1 was 329.5 million. If accurate, it shows an annual population growth rate of 0.35% -- the lowest since at least 1900, according to an analysis by the Brookings Institution.

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Demographer William Frey said the figures mean that population growth during the 2010s will likely be the lowest of any decade since the first U.S. Census was conducted in 1790.

"These statistics paint a portrait of a nation that is experiencing unprecedented growth stagnation, even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit," he wrote.

"The exceptionally low growth rate from 2019 to 2020 reflects the pandemic's impact over part of that year."

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