Florida and Texas Gain House Seats as People Flee New York and California

People enjoy South Beach during Spring Break in Miami, Fla., March 25, 2021. (Yana Paskova/Reuters)

Florida and Texas gained House seats while California and New York lost one seat each as a result of population shifts, according to the 2020 census results announced on Monday.

Texas gained two House seats in the census apportionment for a new total of 38 congressional districts, while Florida gained one House seat, bringing its total number of districts to 28. California lost one House seat and will decline to 52 congressional districts, while New York also lost one House seat and will now have 26 congressional districts.

A census official noted that if New York had counted 89 more people, the state would not have lost a House seat.

Preliminary data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in December showed that roughly 126,000 people left the state between July 2019 and July 2020. New York lost roughly 1.4 million residents to other states from 2010 to 2019, according to a report by the Empire Center released in January 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the U.S.

The population of California stopped growing several years before the coronavirus pandemic, and in 2020 the state lost more residents to outmigration than it gained. Residents have migrated to Texas as well as to neighboring states such as Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.

California lost 170,000 residents to other states in 2019, and Texas was the top destination for those who left.

California outmigration is driven primarily by residents making less than $100,000 per year as well as people without college degrees, according to census data analyzed by the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Texas has gained seats from natural population growth as well as in-migration. Florida saw similar trends in 2020, with residents moving in during the pandemic. Both states resisted imposing sweeping school and business closures, and most of Florida’s schools have been open for in-person learning since September.

Some areas of Texas were already growing in population before the pandemic. The city of Austin grew by 30 percent from 2010 through 2019, making it the fastest-growing metro area in the country.

During the coronavirus pandemic Austin has become a destination for tech workers leaving the San Francisco Bay Area. Tesla head Elon Musk is building a factory on the city outskirts, and while he hasn’t revealed where he lives in Texas, Musk has moved the headquarters of his personal foundation to downtown Austin.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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