Florida gains congressional seat in latest U.S Census

by | Apr 27, 2021

 

Florida is one of five states to gain an additional congressional seat based on data collected during the 2020 U.S. Census.

On Monday, the U.S. Census Bureau released the latest state population and congressional apportionment totals which determine the number of congressional districts each state will have going into the next decade. Additionally, the data determines how many Electoral College votes each state will have through 2032, and how federal money is allocated to each state for schools, roads and other public projects.

The bureau reported the official population of the United States currently stands at 331,449,281 and the southern and western U.S. grew faster than the northeast and midwest.

Florida’s resident population increased by 2.7 million — from 18,801,310 in 2010 to 21,538,187 — according to the 2020 Census. The population increase means Florida will gain one congressional seat, bringing its total to 28 and increase its number of electoral votes to 30.

The average number of people in each Florida congressional seat increased to 769,221. The average number of people in each of the 120 state house districts increased to 179,485, and the average number of people in each of the 40 state senate districts increased to 538,455.

In January, the Census Bureau announced it would miss the April 1 statutorily scheduled release date for the full population and demographic data that contains the census block-level counts of population by race, ethnicity (Hispanic or Latino origin), and voting age that are needed to redraw legislative and congressional district boundaries in compliance with the Florida Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act. The Census Bureau said it will provide that data in August and September.

According to the Florida Senate President’s office, the Florida Legislature is required to redraw legislative and congressional district boundaries using the block-level population and demographic data provided by the most recent decennial census during the 2022 Legislative Session.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson wrote in a memo to Florida Senators, “At this time, I believe we will be able to meet our Constitutional duty and complete our redistricting work before the conclusion of the 2022 Regular Session despite the delayed data release by the Census Bureau.”

It appears with Republican-dominated Florida House and Senate in charge during the redistricting, that dominance will continue into the next decade.

In addition to Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon and Montana each gain an additional congressional seat. Texas will gain two seats.

California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York each lose one seat. California’s loss marks its first decrease in congressional seats in the history of the state.

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