89 people short: NY state to lose one seat in Congress by narrow margin after new census count

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Posted at 3:59 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 20:43:04-04

NEW YORK (AP - MODIFIED) — Census data released Monday means that New York will lose one seat in Congress as a result of national population shifts.

The state’s delegation will shrink from 27 to 26. It is one of seven states losing a member of Congress as a result of the 2020 census. The state stands to lose out on more than political clout: The census also determines the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funding each year.

It is currently not clear which districts will be merged. Further information on the redistricting will be announced by August. New York lost two seats in the last census, in 2010.

New York, which has the 4th largest population, will still have the 4th most congressional seats in the US.

The census also shows that, while New York's population grew by 4.2%, there is a lack of people moving to the Empire State.

"There are more people moving out of the State of New York than into the State," Karen Battle, Chief of the Population Division for the census said.

The state needed 89 more people to keep the congressional seat, which now shifts to Minnesota.

"If you do the algebra equation that will show how many they would have needed, that's 89 people, but that is if you hold the population of all other states constant," Kristin Koslap, Senior Technical Expert for the census, said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the New York State Attorney General on Tuesday to review the state's legal options to challenge the decision, and released the following statement:

"Census takers in New York faced unprecedented challenges last year in their efforts to get New Yorkers counted - from the pandemic's effect on the mail system to the Trump Administration's xenophobic, flagrant, and illegal efforts to hurt blue states by discouraging non-citizens and people of color from being counted. And despite a growing state population, New York State's congressional delegation will lose a seat in the House of Representatives next year, having fallen an equally-unprecedented 89 responses short of continuity. So much of our state's recovery, revitalization, and resilience is dependent on having our voice heard in Washington, and we won't allow Trump and his cronies to use one of our greatest attributes - our diversity - as an impediment. I'm calling on the Attorney General to review all legal options available to ensure the voice of every New Yorker is fairly and wholly represented in the halls of Congress."

Pennsylvania will also lose a congressional seat.

The process of gaining and losing congressional seats is done through apportionment. Apportionment is the process of dividing up the number of representatives or seats (435) in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states based on the population counts from the census.

The new congressional districts will take effect January of 2023 with the 118th Congress. As of now, it is unknown which New York district will be merged to accommodate the elimination of the congregational seat.