Texas gains four congressional seats from 2010 Census

Dec 23 2010

By Jimmy Ardis

AUSTIN, Texas: Texas will gain four congressional seats in the decennial reapportionment, according to freshly released 2010 Census data. The US Constitution requires Congress to be reapportioned according to population every ten years based on the results of the Census. With four new seats Texas will gain more representatives than any other state, a product of its substantial population growth over the last decade. [1] Florida picked up two seats and six other states gained one seat each. Ten states lost seats. [2]

The official US population is now 308,745,538, a 9.7 increase since the 2000 Census. Texas grew more than twice as fast (20.6 percent) as the nation over the same period, with a 2010 population of 25,145,561. The flood of new Texans means more representation in Congress and an even more prominent seat at the national table. Texas already has a big voice in the US House of Representatives with 32 seats. Only California has more. The move to 36 seats simply adds to Texas’s growing influence. [1]

Now that the apportionment data has been released, it’s up to the state legislature to redraw the political boundaries in Texas to reflect population shifts and to account for the new seats. Redistricting is always a hot political issue, and with four new congressional seats up for grabs, the stakes are even higher this cycle. How the lines are drawn will influence the balance of power in Texas for the next decade.

Republicans will lead the redistricting process due to their overwhelming control of the Texas state government. But political dominance doesn’t give Republicans a blank check as redistricting is tightly regulated by a host of state and federal laws that seek to mitigate the effects of gerrymandering and ensure equal representation. Democrats are already claiming at least two of the new seats, pointing to large increases in the Hispanic and African-American populations. [1] Despite the torrent of speculation already floating around, no one knows for sure where the lines will fall until the legislature gets to work in 2011.

The Texas legislative session begins on January 11, 2011.

States that Added Congressional Seats after 2010 Census
State Before 2010 census After 2010 census[3]
Arizona 8 9 (+1)
Florida 25 27 (+2)
Georgia 13 14 (+1)
Nevada 3 4 (+1)
South Carolina 6 7 (+1)
Texas 32 36 (+4)
Utah 3 4 (+1)
Washington 9 10 (+1)
States that Lost Congressional Seats after 2010 Census
State Before 2010 census After 2010 census[4]
Illinois 19 18 (-1)
Iowa 5 4 (-1)
Louisiana 7 6 (-1)
Massachusetts 10 9 (-1)
Michigan 15 14 (-1)
Missouri 9 8 (-1)
New Jersey 13 12 (-1)
New York 29 27 (-2)
Ohio 18 16 (-2)
Pennsylvania 19 18 (-1)