the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Washington DC, The population of the United States grew by just 7.4 percent in the last decade, its second-slowest rate in any decade since the first Census was taken back in 1790. The only other decade with slower growth? The 1930s.
Six of the seven states that will lose a seat in Congress — Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — are in the Rust Belt. Five of those states, leaving West Virginia aside, have been losing seats for a long time.
This Census marks the tenth straight reapportionment process that Pennsylvania has lost a seat. For New York, the losing streak stands at eight, and for Illinois it’s at nine.
On the flip side, four of the six states that will gain seats — Texas, Colorado, North Carolina and Florida — are in the Sun Belt. Texas has gained at least one seat in each of the last eight reapportionment cycles, dating back to the 1950 Census. Florida has gained a seat in each of the last 12 reapportionments.
The big takeaway from the U.S. Census Bureau releasing final numbers on the 2020 population count is that Blue States continue to bleed people to Red States that have lower taxes and less regulation. In 1970, the West and South had a bit less than half the U.S. population — today it’s nearly 63 percent.
California gained at least one seat in every decade since it joined the Union in 1850, at least until the 2010 Census paused their delegation at 53. But the combination of low immigration rates and high domestic out-migration now means the Golden State is losing a seat for the first time in its history.
New York is a case study. Despite a continued influx of foreign immigrants, New York will have only 26 House members in the next Congress. As recently as 1970 it had 41 House members. But this past decade, 48 out of its 62 counties lost population.
Far too many of New York’s political leaders are in denial over the state’s decline. Jack McEneny, a former state legislator from Albany, told the New York Times he didn’t make much of the fact that Sun Belt states are surging in population. “They developed air conditioning down south,” Mr. McEnany dismissively told the New York Times.
New York’s legislature dramatically hiked taxes this year – which will only accelerate the exodus of people and jobs. It’s almost as if the state’s public sector has ceased caring if its private sector remains.