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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Analysis: Census data shows 8 states could lose House seats

By Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY
Eight states — most in the Northeast and Midwest — would lose seats in Congress in 2010, based on an analysis of Census estimates of 2008 state populations released today.

Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania each would lose a seat, according to an analysis by Election Data Services, Inc.

Five states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Utah — would each gain one seat. Texas would be the big winner, adding three seats.

The 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are reallocated every 10 years after the decennial Census counts state populations. The analysis uses annual estimates to project changes in 2010.
"Oregon is likely to gain a seat but it's right on the cusp," says Kim Brace, president of Election Data Services. "About 13 states are right there on the cusp battling for the last six seats."

The recent data show big fluctuations in migration trends in the past year. Because of that, it's becoming more difficult to predict what state populations will be in 2010.

"We're seeing some flux and shifts from what we've seen before in these new Census numbers," Brace says. "That will definitely impact the apportionment process."

Utah was the fastest growing state in the population estimates for July 1, gaining 2.5% since July 1, 2007, to reach 2.7 million. Arizona, perennially one of the USA's fastest growing states, held the No. 2 spot, gaining 2.3% between 2007 and 2008, but its rate of increase fell from 2.8% in 2006-2007. Texas, North Carolina and Colorado rounded out the top five, each increasing 2%.

Nevada, one of the states hardest hit by the housing and foreclosure crisis, has seen its growth rate almost cut in half in the past two years. The state grew by 1.8% between 2007 and 2008, down from 3.5% two years earlier. Nevada was the nation's fastest growing state from 2006 to 2007, increasing 2.9%, but ranked No. 8 in the most recent 12-month period. Nevada had been among the four fastest-growing states each of the last 23 years.

Texas was the biggest numerical gainer, adding 484,000 between 2007 and 2008. California (379,000), North Carolina (181,000), Georgia (162,000) and Arizona (147,000) were the other biggest net gainers.

Michigan and Rhode Island, where unemployment is among the nation's highest, were the only states to lose population. Michigan had a net loss of 46,000 people (0.5%) and Rhode Island lost 2,000 (0.2%).

California remained the most populous state (36.8 million), followed by Texas (24.3 million), New York (19.5 million), Florida (18.3 million) and Illinois (12.9 million).

In another reflection of the housing crisis, more people left Florida than moved there from 2007 to 2008. The Sunshine State registered a net outmigration of 9,286.

"This, along with Nevada's dive in growth rank from first to eighth, underscores the depth of the housing crunch's impact on states that grew steadily over the last several decades," says William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution. "The bursting bubble has turned dependable growth to shocking standstills."

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:25 AM
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