You Win Some
You Lose Some
What to know about the 2020 U.S. Census and why it matters.
“The Founders of our fledgling nation had a bold and ambitious plan to empower the people over their new government… to count every person living in the newly created United States of America, and to use that count to determine representation in the Congress.”
The U.S. Census Bureau on why the Founding Fathers included the census in the U.S. Constitution. The count of every U.S. resident has taken place every 10 years since the first census in 1790.
- shape congressional & state districts.
- distribute federal funds used to fund Medicaid, Medicare, and build schools, roads, etc.
- allocate seats for each state in the House of Representatives.
- allocate votes for each state in the Electoral College (used in presidential elections).
What To Know
- U.S. Population: 331.4M+ (April 2020).
- The population growth rate from 2010 to 2020 (7.4%) is the second-lowest in history, trailing behind the 1940 census after the Great Depression.
- States with the highest growth rates = Utah, Idaho & Texas.
- States with the lowest growth rates = West Virginia, Mississippi & Illinois.
- CA is still the most populous state but growth rate slowing.
What It Means
To begin, each state gets one of the 435 House seats. The remaining 385 House seats are split among the states per the census population count, which includes military & federal employees overseas.
Based on the 2020 census results:
- TX: Gained 2 seats
- CO, FL, MT, NC & OR: Gained 1 seat
- CA, IL, MI, NY, OH, PA, & WV: Lost 1 seat
By determining number of seats in Congress, the U.S. Census on can impact legislation. But just a reminder, the Senate remains the steady legislative body where every state has two lawmakers no matter the size of the population.
by Jenna Lee,