(The Center Square) – There is a reason why Wisconsin added about 200,000 people and kept all of its seats in Congress while Illinois and Michigan did not.
Policy groups in the state say Wisconsin’s decade-long focus on lower taxes and a better environment for businesses was proven successful in the latest Census.
New Census numbers show Wisconsin’s population jumped from 5.6 million people to 5.8 million over the past decade. That means Wisconsin will keep its eight seats in Congress.
Eric Bott with Americans For Prosperity in Wisconsin said Wisconsin looks even better when you compare it to neighboring states like Illinois and Michigan.
"Generally low tax states are winning, and high tax states like California and Illinois are losing,” Bott told The Center Square.
Census figures show Illinois lost just over 18,000 people and one Congressional seat. Michigan added about 7,000 people, but lost a Congressional seat as well.
“The trends are clear; businesses and families are gravitating to states that are attractive places to live and work,” CJ Szafir with the Institute for Reforming Government said. “Wisconsin, unlike its neighbors, had conservative leadership, from former Governor Walker and Speaker Vos, that lowered property taxes, cut regulations, enacted right to work and collective bargaining reform, and kept spending down. These policies allowed Wisconsin to stand-out as a better state than Illinois or even Michigan to grow your business, raise a family, and even retire.”
Texas and Florida are the big winners in the Census. Both states added people and seats in Congress, Texas added two.
“Wisconsin can't do anything about the weather, which will always give Texas and Florida an advantage,” Szafir told The Center Square. “However the takeaway from the census is that public policy matters and Wisconsin lawmakers must keep pushing free market, limited government reforms.”
Wisconsin’s lot doesn’t change all that much because of the new Census. The state will keep 10 electoral votes and is the 20th largest in the country.
Bott said that means Wisconsin will continue to play a key role in national politics.
“It means we're going to remain a battleground for the foreseeable future,” Bott said. “All eyes are going to be on Ron Kind’s seat in western Wisconsin as Wisconsin’s one truly competitive congressional district.”