WASHINGTON — In their first release of official numbers from 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday the total population of this country has topped 331 million people.
The national head count is done once a decade and shows where the population grew and where it shrank. These numbers are used to figure out how many representatives each state gets in the House of Representatives, among other things.
Although Arizona was among one of the fastest-growing states during the last decade, its 7.1 million was not enough to give it a 10th congressional seat. U.S. Census Bureau data released Monday show Arizona’s clout in Washington is growing, but it's not quite big enough to give it a 12th presidential electoral vote.
Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow victory here in 2020 showed that Arizona is now one of a handful of swing states that are instrumental in determining the presidential contest. Arizona had gained at least one U.S. House seat in every census since 1950.
Overall, the agency says the numbers show the south and west are growing over the last decade, while overall the northeast appears to be losing populations.
Because of that, Texas will be getting two new House seats. Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one additional House seat.
Meanwhile, the data shows California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will each lose a seat in the House ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
This is the first time California has lost a seat.
Now, states who are gaining or losing seats will begin the process of redistricting ahead of the next election in less than two years.
Deeper dives into the data released later this year and in the coming years will reveal more information about demographics and localized populations.
The release of the census data was delayed from the beginning of the year. There were massive hurdles the agency faced last year during the coronavirus pandemic to count every American, there were also legal fights on how former President Donald Trump's administration wanted to handle the process and efforts to exclude noncitizens.