(The Center Square) – The state of New York was among the losers – but only by a very slim margin – when the U.S. Census Bureau released information Monday on congressional apportionment.
New York was one of the seven states to lose a seat in Congress, meaning when elections take place next year, the state will have 26 districts instead of the current 27. According to Kristin Koslap, a Census Bureau statistician, the state was just 89 people away from not losing a seat at all.
The decennial census, which took place last year, is used to determine how many seats each state receives in the 435-seat House of Representatives. The loss of the seat will also cost New York one vote in the Electoral College, reducing the Empire State's influence in presidential elections.
As recently as December, New York was projected to lose potentially two seats, according to CityLand. However, while the Census Bureau noted the state did have negative net domestic migration, the state’s population still grew by about 4.2 percent from the last census.
The state’s population as of April 1, 2020, was 20,215,751.
Still, though, the loss of a seat met with criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.
State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, D-Bronx, shared several thoughts on Twitter. At first, she said housing was too expensive and it was difficult to build a home in the state. Then, she blamed Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, for not doing enough outreach.
“It's not that those 89 people don't exist,” she tweeted. “It's that NY didn't count them.”
Technically, it’s the federal government that does the counting, but often city and state leaders encourage their residents to participate in the census. It was a common theme in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s news conferences last year.
But the Cuomo administration was accused in 2020 of being slow to release funds to encourage participation in the census.
State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy said the loss was not surprising and pinned it on the embattled governor as well.
“We have no future as a state when our federal representation continues to shrink, our jobs continue to be destroyed and our residents continue to flee to other states,” Langworthy said in a statement. “We are a state that is failing and in desperate need of a life-saving treatment – a Republican governor who will change course and reverse New York’s decline.”
While seven states lost representation, six states made gains in the chamber. Texas, which got two seats, was the only state to gain multiple seats.
With Florida gaining a 28th seat and New York’s loss, New York drops to the fourth largest congressional delegation.
An independent redistricting commission to determine how New York’s 26 districts will be drawn.