WGXC-90.7 FM

Politically, the census means less representation for NY

Dec 20, 2010 1:29 pm
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="An image from a recent academic paper on how to count people in crowds, from Stanford University, one of many institutions that will make much of new 2010 census figures after the world of American politics has their way with new figures."][/caption]While some have started to comb the new census date for anecdotal information about who we are as a civilization these days, and academics are already setting their sights on new analysis and prognostications, most media is focusing on the politics of it all, at least as things break down into our hyper-partisan, sports-like focus on the way the two major parties will be splitting up the nation, and our future prospects, over the coming decade.

While some of the national publications are going on about how demographic shifts might affect our current President's chances two years hence, today's Albany Business Journal has a piece noting how New York is poised to lose one seat in the House of Representatives -- and perhaps two -- when the U.S. Census Bureau releases official 2010 population figures on Tuesday. New York's congressional delegation almost certainly will shrink from 29 to 28 members, according to the story. And there's an outside chance that it could drop to 27. Texas is expected to be the big winner on Tuesday, picking up three or four seats in the House. Ohio is projected to be the big loser, almost certain to lose two seats. Also shifting, tied dirctly to the House apportionment, will be the make-up of the Electoral College... that archaic entity that regularly comes up for review and never gets seriously challenged.

Decades hence, what will be more important about these new figures will be other trends not noted in today's emphasis on political headcounts. Which we'll be exploring on WGXC-FM, and this community blog, over the coming years...

Click here for the projected allocation of House seats for all 50 states.

The 435 seats in the House of Representatives are reallocated every 10 years, in line with the official results of the decennial census. Each state is guaranteed one seat, and the remaining 385 seats are dispersed one at a time under an arcane system known as the "method of equal proportions."

Texas gained four seats in the projection, though the fourth seat is extremely tenuous. Texas won the very last seat -- No. 435 -- allocated under the "method of equal proportions," meaning that it could easily be displaced when the official numbers are released.

Seven other states are projected to gain one seat each: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.

Ohio is the only state projected to lose more than one seat, though New York has an outside chance of joining it. The final seat allocated to New York in the projection was 430th on the overall list, putting it in a tenuous position.

Also projected to lose a single seat on Tuesday are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Read more: New York could lose 1 or 2 House seats | The Business Review