NY state to lose 1 seat in Congress after new census count
New York will lose one seat in Congress as a result of national population shifts, according to census data released Monday.
The state's delegation will shrink from 27 to 26. It is one of seven states losing a member of congress as a result of the 2020 census.
The state stands to lose out on more than political clout: The census also determines the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funding each year.
New York City, for example, gains $7,000 a year for every household with more than two people, the city's 2020 census director, Julie Menin, said in October.
Deploying ads, text messages, phone calls and celebrities, New York state and local officials exhorted residents last year to participate in a count that unfolded amid the coronavirus pandemic and court fights over various aspects of the Trump administration's conduct of the census. That included an ultimately unsuccessful effort to exclude people living in the country illegally.
"This is literally one of the most important things that’s going to happen to New York City in a long time, whether we can maximize this census count or not," Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said last summer.
Ultimately, the state's census “self-response rate” - households answering by phone, internet or mail - was a bit over 64%, around the same as in 2010, Census Bureau data show. The national rate was 67%.
While the loss of at least one seat was expected in New York, the political world has been in some suspense over whether it might lose two in next year's congressional elections.
It's not yet clear how voters' districts will change. That process hinges on more detailed census data that isn't expected until August, at the earliest.
Traditionally, state lawmakers and governors have redrawn voting districts for seats in the U.S. House and state legislatures. But some states, including New York, have shifted that job to special commissions or made other changes intended to reduce the potential for partisan gerrymandering.
In New York, voters approved a 2014 ballot proposition that calls for a 10-member commission to draw districts for the U.S. House and the state Legislature. The maps will be submitted to the Legislature for approval.