Highlights from the 2020 Congressional Apportionment Brief

Here's how the results of the 2020 U.S. Census shake out

Tue 02 May 2023 3 minutes

Flashback, if you will, to November of last year when our United States midterm election season was in full swing. We published an article helping to illuminate the general path from census data collection to Congressional districting and apportionment, two of several major influences that the U.S. Census has. As it turns out, the 2020 Congressional Apportionment Brief has been published now by the Census Bureau, and we've decided to revisit our older article to see the specifics of how data turns to districting.

You yourself can get started on this particular release here!

As a general reminder, the most important result of the Decenniel Census' tabulations is the reapportionment and redistricting across the country to accomodate the changes in population. While looking at the overall increase in population for the United States is one thing, it is more important to see where the changes are specifically occurring. For starters, the initial takeaway the Census Bureau reported was a 7.1% increase in overall population from the 2010 census to 2020; accounting for just resident population (excluding people living out of the country at the time of the census), it marked a 7.3% increase.

With the national increase accounted for, the Census Bureau moves onto the apportionment side of things. In their words:

"The apportionment population count for each of the 50 states includes the state’s total resident population plus a count of the overseas federal employees (and dependents) who have that state listed as their home state in their employers’ administrative records."
Congressional Apportionment: 2020 Census Briefs

With each Decenniel Census, the apportionment varies; for 2020, "seven seats shifted among 13 states, while the number of representatives for most states remained unchanged since the 2010 Census apportionment," marking the smallest shifting in seats since 1940.

As we touched on previously, Texas has been the site of a major population boom, rivaling California in the 30 million ballpark. As such, it leads in growth by being the only state to gain two seats. All other increases were just by one seat: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon. Otherwise, you have the decreases by one: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. What this marked was a continuation of the growth in representation across Southern and Western states and losses in the Northeast and Midwest.

Beyond these summations, you can find the briefs delving into the math of these numbers as they range across the decades. With the 2030 census already under construction by the Census Bureau, many questions are raised as we progress further into the future: What changes must be made to improve the Census? What kind of migrations can we expect and will they be in the same patterns we saw between 2010 and 2020? How might certain issues, such as climate change and cost of living, continue to impact these migrations as well? Ultimately, only time, and the Census Bureau, will tell.

Header image sourced with permission from Yuliya Pauliukevich.

Subscribe to be notified of updates to data sets. We don't spam, and we don't share your email address.

More From the Blog

Browse Census Data by State

Browse Census Data by U.S Territory