California Loses House Seat for the First Time Ever

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California will lose a seat in the House of Representatives for the first time in history, the U.S. Census Bureau announced on Monday.

The Golden State is one of seven states that will lose a seat in the House based on population shifts, a group that includes New York, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Meanwhile, Texas will gain two seats and Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one seat.

The shifting population is largely in line with the regional trend that has existed since 1940 in which there is an increase in the number of congressional seats in the south and west and a loss of seats in the northeast and midwest. Since 1940, there has been a combined net shift of 84 seats to the south and west regions, the bureau said.

The 2020 census will result in a shift of 7 seats among 13 states — the smallest number of seats shifting among the states in any decade since the current method of calculating apportionment was adopted.

California remains the state with the most House seats, with 52 spots, while Texas (38 seats), Florida (28 seats) and New York (26 seats) round out the top four. The four states are the most populous, with each housing more than 20 million people, and together hold roughly a third of the total seats in the House.

The San Jose, Calif. Mercury News writes that the shift will “lead to a reshuffling of the state’s political map, and potentially divisive congressional races between incumbents in 2022. It will also shape presidential politics, as California loses one of its votes in the electoral college and other states like Texas are expected to gain as many as three new seats.”

Many people have been pushed out of California by the state’s astronomical housing prices and cost of living.

The census results come after an initial delay due to the coronavirus and natural disasters. While the bureau was originally intended to deliver the numbers earlier this year, the deadline for the count was pushed back amid the pandemic and other disasters.

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