For the first time since it became a state, California could lose a seat in the House of Representatives, according to a new 2019 population estimate released by the Census Bureau.
On Monday, the Census Bureau population estimates found that the national population growth slowed in 2019. It also found that California, New York, and some 25 other states lost residents through domestic migration in 2019.
As a result, California is poised to lose a House seat for the first time since it became a state in 1850. The population data also found that California experienced its slowest population growth since 1900.
The Census Bureau data estimates changes to states’ populations for the year that ended July 1. The agency reports that Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey were among the states that experienced population decreases in 2019.
The Census Bureau estimates that 200,000 people left California and 180,000 left New York in 2019. That migration means that New York would lose another House seat after losing two seats in 2010.
The Los Angeles Times reports that California’s population decrease is “a result of the state’s shifting migration patterns and economic strains that are making it harder to afford living here.”
Meanwhile, Texas is expected to add two House seats while Florida, Arizona, and four other states are expected to add one seat.
The re-apportionment process is expected to take place in December 2020, and will likely lead to a drawn-out redistricting process in several states.