Although the nation continues to grow (we’re currently at 321 million), there are no plans in Congress to add to the 435 representatives that constitute the U.S. House of Representatives. That means when the next official U.S. Census is turned in time for the 2022 congressional elections, certain states will gain representation, and some states will lose that representation, depending on the growth patterns determined in 2020.
After the 2010 census, 12 seats shifted among the states, with 10 states losing at least one representative and eight states gaining at least one.
According to Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Population Center, four Western states – Arizona, California, Colorado and Oregon will likely gain seats. So will four Southern states, including Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
“North Carolina is projected to gain one additional seat, while Texas picks up an additional one, two, or three seats depending on the scenario,” writes Tippett in a blog post. “Virginia and Florida are projected to gain one additional seat in three of the four scenarios considered.”
Tippett speculates that Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio in the Midwest and New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island in the Northeast, will all lose a representative. West Virginia in the South could be the only other state losing a representative.
Florida gained two congressional seats after the 2010 census, after seeing huge growth in the aughts.
At the end of 2014, Florida’s population was estimated at 19.9 million, eclipsing New York and becoming the third-largest state in the nation, surpassed only by California (38.8 million) and Texas (27 million).