New York could have kept a House seat if just 89 more people had been counted in the 2020 census

US Census briefing
The US Census Bureau unveiled which states will gain and lose House seats after the 2020 census

  • New York lost a US House seat by just 89 people, Census Bureau officials revealed Monday.
  • Had 89 more people filled out the Census, the state would have been spared from losing the seat.
  • Minnesota was able to get the 435th House seat and keep all 8 of its districts because of New York.
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New York could’ve retained one House seat if just 89 more people in the state had filled out the 2020 census, officials revealed Monday.

On Monday, the US Census Bureau unveiled its long-awaited population counts and apportionment figures from the census that determine how many House seats states gained and lost.

Federal law requires the House to have 435 seats that each represent the exact same number of people – just over 760,000 – to satisfy the principle of one person, one vote. This means that states are subject to lose or gain House seats based on changes to their population – and as New York’s experience shows, every completed census form makes a difference.

“What we have is that if New York had had 89 more people, they would have received one more seat instead of the last state that received their last seat,” Kristin Koslap, a senior technical expert for the 2020 Census Apportionment Division, said at a Monday news conference.

“There are 435 seats, so the last seat went to Minnesota, and New York was next in line. And if you do the algebra equation that determines how many they would have needed, it’s 89 people. But that’s if you hold the population of all other states, constant,” she added.

Read more: The great migration of 2020: People from New York and California moved in droves this year – here are the states that benefited from the mass exodus, from Idaho to Texas

Texas came out of the 2020 census as the biggest winner in reapportionment, gaining two House seats. Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Montana, and Oregon will all each gain one seat.

Meanwhile, California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia all lost one House seat each.

Alabama, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, which were all projected to lose a seat, didn’t lose any – and Minnesota is able to keep its eight House seats thanks to New York falling short.

Koslap explained, however, that because of the system the Census Bureau uses to determine which state gets the 435th seat, it’s not unheard if for just a few hundred or dozen people to make or break a state’s fortunes.

“It’s part of the standard of the method of equal proportions is that it all depends on the overall proportion of all the states within the nation. And so … it’s not unusual for there to be a small margin like that,” she said.

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