Monday, April 26, 2021

Census totals show Wisconsin with minor growth in 2010s. But Minnesota gets a positive surprise.

Maybe I had just missed it, but I was surprised to see the US Census Bureau come out with its state population totals for 2020, which determines how many seats each state will have to vote for in 2022.
Texas will gain two more congressional seats and seven states will each lose a seat as a result of population shifts recorded in the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau said Monday in the release of its first round of data from the survey taken last year.

In total, seven seats shifted affecting 13 states. Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon each gained one seat in addition to Texas. California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia each lost one seat.

The shift could affect the 2022 midterm elections and whether Democrats can hold onto control of the House, where they hold a narrow majority. It's also part of a broader shift to the South and West of the U.S., with 84 seats shifting toward those states since 1940.
It's worth mentioning that today's Census report didn't break down the populations within a state. That will come in August and September, and that information will be used to draw the new maps at the Congressional and state levels. Given that much of the population growth in America is happening in urbanized and suburban areas, the lazy analysis of "GOPs are going to benefit from Census numbers" may not prove true when you have fewer low-educated white people to spread districts over.

The 435th and final seat in Congress was a surprise to many, in came to the benefit of our neighbor to the West.
Minnesota will keep its eight U.S. House seats — by the skin of its teeth.

The 2020 census found Minnesota had 5,709,752 residents as of April 1, 2020. That put it a mere 89 people, or 0.0016 percent of its population, ahead of New York state for the 435th and final seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Many experts thought Minnesota would lose one of its seats because other states were growing more quickly, in the zero-sum race for the 435 seats in the House. Instead, it held on to the last seat in Congress by the narrowest margin recorded since at least 1940.
That April 1 date is sadly crucial here, as you have to wonder if New York ends up ahead of Minnesota if that question is asked on March 1, 2020, before the COVID pandemic began hammering New York full force. You can get a look at the last states that missed out at this link.

Minnesota made a strong push to have its residents respond to the Census, ended up with the highest response rate in America (Wisconsin was 2nd), and apparently it paid off. Minnesota recorded by far the fastest population growth in the Midwest in the 2010s, growing at a rate double that of Wisconsin, and well ahead of any other state in the traditional Big Ten.

You can see Wisconsin was in the middle of the road for our part of the country, but in the bottom half for all states at 34th. But even that was better than expected, as our Census population of 5,893,718 is more than 70,000 above the 2019 estimates. No states passed us between 2010 and 2020 in population, although Colorado is nipping at our heels and likely to zoom by us in the next few years.

You can click here for a table which shows all of the states' populations, and how much of a change happened between 2010 and 2020. It will be far from the last that we hear about the Census this year, and the later numbers for cities and counties will be every bit as important in telling how things changed in the 2010s. But we at least have an idea of what the big picture looks like, and they're especially happy in Minnesota tonight, I am sure.

1 comment:

  1. Actually that article is wrong: while New York needed 89 more people to get a 27th seat, Minnesota was only 26 people away from not keeping its 8th. 0.00046%.