On Monday, the US Census Bureau released its first estimate of state and national population numbers for the 2020 Census. Tasked with administering a national count by the US Constitution, the federal government uses this tally for the apportionment of the nation’s 435-member House of Representatives every 10 years. These numbers are also used to determine each state’s total electoral votes for the 2024 and 2028 presidential elections.
The Census Bureau reports that as of April 1, 2020, “the resident population of the United States, including the 50 states and the District of Columbia was 331,449,281.” This is a 7.4% overall increase in population since the previous Census.
A few states, like Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Texas, gained seats in Congress, while others, like California, Illinois, Michigan and New York, lost one seat each.
In 2022, the average Congressional District will hold 790,000 Americans, but for the least populous states, numbers vary. Maine’s Congressional Districts will each cover around 680,000 people, while Delaware’s single, at-large district will encompass 991,000.
It’s an imperfect process, as dividing 331.5 million into 435 naturally would be. The fate of some so-called “bubble districts,” like New York’s 27th and Minnesota’s 8th, were decided by a difference of less than 100 residents.