Which States Won — And Lost — Seats In The 2020 Census? (2023)

The political balance of the 50 states was just reweighted.

On Monday afternoon, the U.S. Census Bureau announced how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House for the next 10 years — a once-in-a-decade process called reapportionment. In total, five states will gain one House seat each starting with the 2022 elections — and Texas even added two. But for every seat these states gained, another state had to lose one — and indeed, seven states lost one congressional district each.

Which States Won — And Lost — Seats In The 2020 Census? (1)

Overall, the gains and losses following the 2020 census largely continue a pattern in recent decades whereby states in the Midwest and Northeast have lost seats because their population growth has stagnated, while states in the South and West have mostly gained seats because their populations have boomed. (There is one exception to this overarching trend: California actually lost ground for the first time in its history.)

(Video) Which States Lost Or Gained Seats In The House From The 2020 Census Results? | MSNBC

This southward and westward migration of congressional seats will, of course, affect the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans. With legislatures and commissions all over the country about to draw new congressional maps, states where Republicans have full control of the redistricting process added two seats on net (four seats gained, two lost). Meanwhile, the few states where Democrats wield the redistricting pen subtracted one seat on net (one gained, two lost). States with independent redistricting commissions or where the two parties share redistricting power also lost a net of one seat (two gained, three lost).

As a result, we can now say with finality that Republicans will control the redrawing of 187 congressional districts (43 percent) — or 2.5 times as many as Democrats (who will redraw 75 districts, or 17 percent). There are also 167 districts (38 percent) where neither party will enjoy exclusive control over redistricting (either because of independent commissions or split partisan control). And, of course, there are six districts (1 percent) that won’t need to be drawn at all (because they are at-large districts that cover their entire state).

Which States Won — And Lost — Seats In The 2020 Census? (2)

But just because most of the states that are gaining seats are red and most of the states that are losing them are blue does not necessarily mean that reapportionment will help Republicans — in the House, at least.1 That’s because many of the fastest-growing areas of red states are increasingly Democratic, so it matters a lot how the new districts will be drawn.

(Video) Which states gain and lose congressional seats in first 2020 census results

To be sure, in states where one party enjoys full control of redistricting, they will probably attempt to draw the new district — or adjust for the loss of an old one — in ways that benefit themselves. But that may not always be possible, or they may actually prefer not to do so for other, more idiosyncratic reasons (such as drawing other districts to suit a particular incumbent). So based on population patterns and local political considerations, here’s our best judgment about which party will benefit from reapportionment in each state.

States that gained seats

The three most populous states to gain seats are Texas, Florida and North Carolina, and in each, Republicans will control the redistricting process. For the first time in decades, they won’t have to seek preclearance from the Justice Department either before implementing their maps thanks to the 2013 Supreme Court decision that struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. That, in turn, could open the door for more extreme gerrymandering in these states, which historically disenfranchised voters of color.

For instance, Republicans will at least try to draw Texas’s two new districts to be as safe as possible for Republicans. But they also face the challenge that Texas’s suburbs — its fastest-growing areas — are rapidly becoming more Democratic, which threatened to blow up their 2011 gerrymander. According to Daily Kos Elections, Biden came within 3 percentage points of carrying 22 out of Texas’s current 36 districts in the 2020 election. So in an effort to shore up Republican incumbents in some areas, the Texas legislature may be forced to create safe new districts for Democrats in places like Austin, Dallas or Houston. But even if one or both of the new seats are blue, Texas’s map will still likely benefit Republicans overall (perhaps more so than their current 23-13 advantage), muddying the question of which party truly benefits from reapportionment here.

(Video) 2020 Census: 6 states gain Congress seats, 7 states lose seats

Meanwhile, in Florida, Republicans could expand the GOP’s present 16-11 seat advantage by drawing a new Republican seat, but in doing so they may also cut into Democratic-controlled seats that aren’t overwhelmingly blue, such as Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s Orlando-based seat and/or Rep. Charlie Crist’s Tampa Bay-area seat. It’s plausible that the state’s new district could be drawn in one of those regions, too, as both have grown more than most other parts of the state in the past decade. As for North Carolina, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has no say in redistricting, so the GOP-led legislature could try to draw an aggressive gerrymander to improve the party’s 8-5 edge. However, the three most over-populated districts are all urban-suburban seats Biden won by at least 30 percentage points. That means Republican line-drawers will have to balance trying to add GOP-leaning seats while also not accidentally drawing too many potential Democratic voters into Republican-held districts, which could eventually cause them to flip if more densely populated areas trend further to the left. Notably, the state supreme courts in Florida and North Carolina both ordered at least partial redistricting that weakened Republican-drawn maps in the last decade; however, GOP judicial election wins and appointments since then may reduce the likelihood that those state courts will interfere with any future Republican gerrymandering attempts.

Out west, Colorado and Montana will use commissions to draw their new congressional maps, which should limit partisan gerrymandering, but also makes it harder to say which party will benefit from new lines. Colorado is using a redistricting commission for the first time, but it’s had a dramatic start with its members voting unanimously to remove the commission chair after he made comments questioning the validity of the 2020 election outcome. As for the state’s new district, it will likely be drawn somewhere in the Denver region, where much of Colorado’s growth has occurred. Meanwhile, Montana must decide how to draw its new lines, having gained a second congressional seat for the first time in 30 years. The most logical arrangement is to split the state into eastern and western halves — an outcome that has upside for both political parties. Both seats would probably still favor Republicans given the red hue of the state, meaning that in most cases, the GOP would gain a seat in Big Sky Country. But the western seat might actually be somewhat competitive thanks to liberal cities like Missoula and Bozeman — so in some scenarios, Democrats could actually add to their ranks.

Finally, unusual circumstances make it hard to predict the partisanship of Oregon’s sixth seat. Although it wouldn’t be hard to draw a 5-1 gerrymander of the state, Democrats recently agreed to give Republicans an equal say on the legislature’s redistricting committees. (However, Democrats still have control over the institutions that must approve the maps — the full state Senate, full state House and governorship — and can theoretically rescind their olive branch.) That, plus the preferences of Oregon’s congressional Democrats to hold onto their existing bases of support, may encourage a compromise 4-2 map, in which the new seat would, in effect, add a member to the Republican caucus. If a court has to get involved, a 3-3 map is even possible.

(Video) 2020 Census Apportionment News Conference

States that lost seats

California continues to be the most populous state in the country, but its pace of growth has slowed enough that it will lose a seat in the next Congress. That means the state’s independent redistricting commission will have to decide what part of the state loses representation, which could hurt one party. Based on population growth, the endangered seat could very well be a district located completely or partly in Los Angeles County. And because Democrats control almost all of those seats, that could mean they will suffer a net loss from California’s redistricting. However, the removal of a district could make Republican Rep. Mike Garcia’s seat in northern Los Angeles County even more Democratic-leaning than it already is — Biden carried it by 10 points — if the district’s new lines stretch further southward, which would give Democrats a better chance of capturing that seat.

New York and Illinois are two other blue states that lost one district each, but the Democrats who control redistricting in those states should be able to ensure that a Republican-held seat is the one that gets axed. Both states are losing residents in their redder, rural areas — upstate for New York and downstate for Illinois. So in Illinois, expect one of the state’s five Republican representatives to draw the short straw — perhaps Rep. Adam Kinzinger or Rep. Rodney Davis. In New York, meanwhile, several Republican-held districts, such as the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th, are shrinking and could be combined in such a way that not only reduces their number by one, but also makes at least one of them more Democratic. Indeed, these two states are probably Democrats’ two biggest weapons in redistricting this year, so expect their final maps to be even friendlier to Democrats than their current 13-5 (Illinois) and 19-8 (New York) splits.

Unlike in the previous two states, Republicans will control the redistricting process in Ohio, which also lost one seat. The GOP already has a sizable 12-4 edge on the current map,2 and they could try to make sure their loss of a seat is felt by Democrats. The leading contenders for removal are probably the districts held by Democratic Reps. Marcy Kaptur (9th District) and Tim Ryan (13th District), the latter of whom is running for Senate anyway. However, Republicans will be at least a little constrained by redistricting amendments voters passed in 2015 and 2018. To pass a map that will last the entire decade, the GOP-controlled state legislature will need at least a little buy-in from Democrats there; otherwise, it will only stay in effect for two terms and will need to be redrawn. Additionally, there are new limits on how cities and counties can be split. Nevertheless, Ohio is so red outside of the big cities of Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati that Ohio Republicans can draw a highly favorable map without breaking the rules governing the splitting of localities.

(Video) 2020 Census report: US tops 331M people; 6 states will gain Congressional seats, 7 will lose a seat

Two other states in the Frost Belt will also lose a seat, but their new maps will be drawn by either a divided government or a commission. In Pennsylvania, the Republican-controlled legislature could butt heads with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, which could bring the Democratic-controlled state supreme court into the line-drawing process. However, it’s unclear exactly which party is most likely to lose a seat, as broad swaths of the state outside of its southeast region have seen stagnant growth — or even population loss. Meanwhile, Michigan is another state utilizing a redistricting commission for the first time, which should minimize partisan gerrymandering. Still, Michigan will lose a seat, and because Wayne County has shrunk over the past decade, there’s a good chance a seat in the Detroit area will be on the chopping block. That likely means Democrats will lose a seat they currently control, but because the new map will replace the current Republican gerrymander, Democrats could end up with more favorable turf in other parts of the state.

Lastly, we know for sure that Republicans will be the ones to lose a seat in West Virginia. All three current members of Congress from the Mountain State belong to the GOP, so at least one out of Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney or Carol Miller will not be in the next Congress. Expect a lot of intrigue surrounding how, exactly, the seat is redrawn — and perhaps a rare incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary election.

Of course, we’re a long way from knowing the full political ramifications of redistricting, as the 31 other states that didn’t lose or gain a seat and will have more than one representative will also have to redraw their congressional lines. We also don’t know how the 13 states we’ve examined here will draw their maps. But today’s announcement of the reapportionment numbers marks the first step toward knowing what the lay of the land will be ahead of the 2022 election.

(Video) Results of 2020 Census


Why does California have the most seats in the House? ›

California is the most populous U.S. state; as a result, it has the most representation in the United States House of Representatives, with 52 Representatives. Each Representative represents one congressional district.

How many seats did Texas gain in 2000? ›

Based on the 2010 federal decennial census, Texas was apportioned 36 congressional districts, an increase from 32 districts apportioned to Texas under the 2000 census. The Regular Session of the 82nd Legislature adjourned without adopting a congressional redistricting bill.

How many members of the US House does Texas currently have after the 2020 census? ›

On April 26, 2021, the United States Census Bureau reported results of congressional reapportionment from the 2020 Census. According to these results, Texas will add two new congressional districts for a total of 38 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 118th Congress.

How many representatives did Texas gain? ›

Current districts and representatives

The delegation consists of 36 members, with 24 Republicans and 12 Democrats. Starting in the 2022 midterms, per the 2020 United States census, Texas will gain two new congressional seats.

Why does Wyoming only have one Representative? ›

From a constitutional standpoint, the only restriction on House size is that there can be at most one representative per thirty thousand people. Therefore, the Wyoming Rule would be constitutional as long as no state had two or more representatives with a population below 60,000.

How many seats does Texas have in the House? ›

The Texas House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral Texas Legislature. It consists of 150 members who are elected from single-member districts for two-year terms.
Texas House of Representatives
Political groupsRepublican (85) Democratic (65)
Length of term2 years
25 more rows

What would cause a state to lose one of its seats in the House? ›

Each state's congressional delegation changes as a result of population shifts, with states either gaining or losing seats based on population.

Which state has the most seats in the House of Representatives? ›

The most populous state, California, currently has 52 representatives. There are six states with one representative: Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.

Who Redistricts in Texas? ›

Section 28, Article III, Texas Constitution, requires the legislature to redistrict state house districts during the first regular session following publication of the decennial census. If the legislature fails to do so, the redistricting task falls temporarily to the Legislative Redistricting Board.

Which state has more representatives than any other state? ›

This means that each state's number of representatives is determined by the state's population. California has the highest number of representatives, with 53 at a population of 39,747,267. Texas is the second highest with 36 representatives and a population of 29,087,070.

What is a gerrymandering in government? ›

Gerrymandering is the practice of setting boundaries of electoral districts to favor specific political interests within legislative bodies, often resulting in districts with convoluted, winding boundaries rather than compact areas.

How many Democrats are in Texas House? ›

Party affiliation on the first day of the legislative session
LegislatureParty totals
87th (2021)Senate - Democrat 13 Republican 18 House - Republican 82 Democrat 67
86th (2019)Senate - Republican 19 Democrat 12 House - Democrat 64 Republican 83
74 more rows

How many seats are reapportioned after every census? ›

Apportionment is the process of dividing the 435 memberships, or seats, in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states. At the conclusion of each decennial census, the results are used to calculate the number of House memberships to which each state is entitled.

How often is a census taken to reapportion seats in this House? ›

It permanently set the maximum number of representatives at 435. In addition, the law determined a procedure for automatically reapportioning House seats after each census. (Reapportionment takes effect three years after the census.)

Why does the House have 435? ›

On this date, the House passed the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929, fixing the number of Representatives at 435. The U.S. Constitution called for at least one Representative per state and that no more than one for every 30,000 persons. Thus, the size of a state's House delegation depended on its population.

How many US Representatives does Alaska have? ›

1959–present: 1 seat

Since statehood on January 3, 1959, Alaska has had one seat in the House.

How much do Wyoming state representatives make? ›

Wyoming House of Representatives
Salary:$150/day + per diem
18 more rows

How old does someone have to be to serve in the Texas House? ›

The Texas House of Representatives is composed of 150 members, each elected for a two-year term. A member of the house must be a citizen of the United States, must be a qualified elector of the state, and must be at least 21 years old.

How long is the Speaker of the House term? ›

The House elects a new speaker by roll call vote when it first convenes after a general election for its two-year term, or when a speaker dies, resigns or is removed from the position intra-term.

How much is each state worth in electoral votes? ›

Electoral votes are allocated among the States based on the Census. Every State is allocated a number of votes equal to the number of senators and representatives in its U.S. Congressional delegation—two votes for its senators in the U.S. Senate plus a number of votes equal to the number of its Congressional districts.

Can states lose districts? ›

Based on the official counts of the 2020 census, California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia will each lose one seat, while Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon will each gain one seat, and Texas will gain two seats.

How many congressional seats NY lost? ›

The U.S. state of New York currently comprises 27 congressional districts. Each district elects one member of the United States House of Representatives who sits on its behalf. The state was redistricted in 2013, following the 2010 U.S. census; it lost two seats in Congress.

Which states gained membership in the House following the 2010 census? ›

States gaining one or more seats in Congress: Arizona, Florida (+2), Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas(+4), Utah and Washington. The states losing one or more seats in Congress: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York (-2), Ohio (-2) and Pennsylvania.

What a filibuster means? ›

The Senate tradition of unlimited debate has allowed for the use of the filibuster, a loosely defined term for action designed to prolong debate and delay or prevent a vote on a bill, resolution, amendment, or other debatable question.

Why do some states have more representatives than other states? ›

The number of U.S. Representatives for each state depends on the population. Some states have more representatives because they have more people. If the state has a large population, there are more representatives. For example, Texas has a large population.

Why are congressional seats reapportioned every decade? ›

As states change population at different rates, the number of those 435 seats each one holds can go up or down—that is reapportionment. Redistricting happens after reapportionment, so that each district has roughly the same number of people.

Does gerrymandering affect the Senate? ›

The United States Senate, for instance, has more competitive elections than the House of Representatives due to the use of existing state borders rather than gerrymandered districts—Senators are elected by their entire state, while Representatives are elected in legislatively drawn districts.

What was the decision in Bush v Vera? ›

The Court found that creation of District 18, the reconfigured African-American district in the Houston area, was not justified as an attempt to avoid retrogression under § 5, since it actually increased the African-American voting population from 40.8 percent to 50.9 percent.

What state has the most representatives why does it have the most representatives? ›

This means that each state's number of representatives is determined by the state's population. California has the highest number of representatives, with 53 at a population of 39,747,267. Texas is the second highest with 36 representatives and a population of 29,087,070.

Why does California have so many earthquakes? ›

The driving force of earthquakes in California is movement along the San Andreas Fault and the many associated faults within the San Andreas Fault System that form the tectonic boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates.

How many representatives does each state have? ›

However, in the House of Representatives, a state's representation is based on its population. For example, smaller states like Vermont and Delaware have one representative while large states like California have 53 representatives.

How many seats are there in the House of Representatives? ›

There are currently 435 voting representatives.

Which state has the oldest senator? ›

At 89, Feinstein is the oldest sitting U.S. senator. In March 2021, Feinstein became the longest-serving U.S. senator from California, surpassing Hiram Johnson.

What state has only one Representative? ›

4 Seven states have one Representative: Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Delaware. The total U.S. population cannot simply be divided by number of members (435) to determine apportionment.

Why does each state only have 2 senators? ›

The Convention approved two senators per state by unanimous vote. At the same time, the delegates provided that senators would vote as individuals rather than having one vote per state, abandoning the practice used in Congress under the Articles of Confederation and in the Constitutional Convention.

Is California going to fall in the ocean? ›

No, California is not going to fall into the ocean. California is firmly planted on the top of the earth's crust in a location where it spans two tectonic plates.

What is the longest time an earthquake has lasted? ›

A devastating earthquake that rocked the Indonesian island of Sumatra in 1861 was long thought to be a sudden rupture on a previously quiescent fault.

Who is the most powerful leader of the House of Representatives? ›

Rep. Nancy Pelosi

The Speaker of the House is second in line to succeed the President, after the Vice President.

Which states have the most House of Representatives? ›

The most populous state, California, currently has 52 representatives. There are six states with one representative: Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.

How many terms can a senator serve? ›

IV. Section-by-Section Analysis Section 1 This is the operative section that limits congressional terms to two terms in the Senate and to six terms in the House of Representatives.

Who holds the majority in Congress? ›

Following the swearing-in of Warnock and Ossoff on January 20, 2021, party division stood at 50–50, with 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats plus 2 Independents who caucused with the Democrats.

Does the Senate have more power than the House? ›

The Senate has the sole power to confirm those of the President's appointments that require consent, and to ratify treaties. There are, however, two exceptions to this rule: the House must also approve appointments to the Vice Presidency and any treaty that involves foreign trade.

What's the difference between a senator and a congressman? ›

Senators represent their entire states, but members of the House represent individual districts. The number of districts in each state is determined by a state's population. Each state has a minimum of one representative in Congress. The House and Senate have evolved into very different bodies.


1. Results of 2020 Census
(ABC News)
2. What the 2020 Census means for House seats
(Washington Post)
3. Census data shows which states will gain and lose House seats
(CNBC Television)
4. 2020 Census Results
5. Texas gains 2 congressional seats following 2020 census | KVUE
6. Breaking Down 2020 Census Data
(CBS Miami)
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