Mississippi keeps four House districts but loses population slightly, Census says

April 27th, 2021     Government & Politics

Mississippi is one of only three states that showed a decrease in population according to preliminary 2020 Census figures. The loss was only slight, however, so we continue to have four U. S. House of Representative districts.

Census officials announced the apportionment totals Monday afternoon but the more detailed local numbers will not be available until August.

The state’s new apportionment population, including overseas residents, is 2,963,914. That’s only 6,018 fewer than 10 years ago, or about 0.2 percent.

The other two states that lost population were Illinois, down 0.1 percent, and West Virginia, which was lowest at 3.2 percent.

The state ranks 34th in population, down from 31st following the previous Census 10 years ago.

Mississippi has had four representatives since 2000, having continued a downward trend. From 1960 to 1990, we had five, six in 1950, seven in 1930 and 1940, and eight in 1910 and 1920.

The total U. S. population is 331,449,181, up 7.4 percent from 2010. That represents the second-slowest growth in U. S. History. Ten years ago the population had grown 9.7 percent.

The average population per House district is 761,169.

Census officials expressed satisfaction with, and confidence in, the results. They said two-thirds of the population completed the Census on their own, but did not add follow-up numbers.

In an effort to improve coverage, they provided Census forms and instructions in 46 languages. Due to the COVID pandemic, they publicized the count in non-traditional ways, geared more to toward people staying home. For instance, the count was promoted on pizza boxes more than at ball games.

Critics, however, pointed out that the Census was underfunded with Census representatives asking local county and city governments to provide transportation and perform some of the work themselves rather than the federal government taking care of it.

Census officials locally apparently never hired close to the number of enumerators that were needed and the president ordered the count to stop early before people who had not been counted initially were followed up on.

The most growth in the decade has occurred in the South, the least in the Midwest.

Eighty-four seats shifted to the South and West with the 2020 count.

California has the largest population with 39,538,223 and Wyoming is smallest at 576,851,

Montana, Oregon, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina will gain one House district as a result of the new Census totals. Texas will gain two.

California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will lose one each. All other states remain the same.

States with the most House districts are California with 52, Texas with 38, Florida with 28 and New York with 26.

Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming have only one House district and representative each.

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