Census Bureau to release state population totals and House seats Monday

Census Bureau to release state population totals and House seats Monday

WASHINGTON — The Census Bureau will release state population totals that determine each state’s number of House seats on Monday after delays because of the coronavirus pandemic and legal battles over the Trump administration’s handling of the decennial count.

Ron Jarmin, the bureau’s acting director, is set to announce the state totals at 3 p.m. ET. The results will include population totals for the nation and the states as well as the congressional apportionment totals for each state, the agency said in a press release. The information, however, will not include a deep breakdown along demographic lines or a full drop of the 2020 Census data.

The count, which occurs every 10 years, determines the number of congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state receives. The demographic data to be released later this year will help determine how federal money for roads, schools and other public works projects is distributed across the country.

Kimball Brace, a redistricting expert with Election Data Services, and William Frey of the Brookings Institution predict Texas will gain three seats and Florida two seats. Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon are each expected to gain one seat.

Meanwhile, Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia could each lose a congressional seat, they said, though Brace thinks New York could lose a second seat as well.

The Census Bureau’s announcement comes after the count was mired in controversy because of the Trump administration’s efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the state population counts. President Joe Biden reversed that directive soon after taking office as well as one former President Donald Trump issued that ordered the bureau to collect citizenship information about every U.S. resident using administrative records, which came after the Supreme Court nixed the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the census questionnaire.

The coronavirus pandemic also further delayed the release of the numbers. The bureau last year postponed the deadline for completing the count from the end of July to the end of October. Then, last summer, the agency announced that the deadline would be changed to the end of September, cutting off a month, after the Republican-controlled Senate failed to take action on a Census Bureau request for more time to turn in the numbers.

The bureau laster missed a Dec. 31 deadline for turning in the apportionment numbers, and it kept pushing back the dates for releasing the numbers after not-unexpected irregularities were found in the data.

The Associated Press, Ali Vitali and Dartunorro Clark contributed.

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