Projections indicate that when the final 2020 census numbers are in California may lose a seat in Congress for the first time in history.

According to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released on Monday, approximately 203,000 people moved out of California between 2018 and 2019 – with the bulk of them heading to other western states like Arizona, Texas and Colorado, where the cost of life is less pricey.

If these numbers hold true in next year’s census count, California would see its number of seats in the House of Representatives drop from 53 to 52. While the loss of one seat would do little to diminish California’s influence in the lower chamber of Congress, there is the possibility that the states Californians are migrating to could potentially pick up a seat – a move that could alter both the local and federal political map.

Where did all the Californians flee? The Lone Star State, of course! And those new residents will also potentially add seats to three other destination states as well.

A 2019 relocation study by Texas Realtors found that 63,175 Californians moved to Texas in 2017, while California was the top destination for Texans to move — nearly 41,000 relocated here.

Texas is likely to gain three seats following the 2020 decennial count, according to Frey’s analysis of census data, while states such as Arizona, Colorado and Oregon may gain one seat apiece.

California isn’t the only state facing the potential loss of a congressional seat either! There are 9 others: Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

On the other hand, 7 states are poised to gain seats.

Colorado is one of five states in the West and South that are projected to gain a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives once the population count effort is complete. The others are Arizona, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon. Florida is expected to gain at least two seats and Texas is expected to gain at least three.

“I’m thrilled that Colorado is set to increase our clout in Washington D.C. Washington needs more of our Colorado common-sense and another member of Congress from Colorado is good for our state and our country,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a prepared statement he released on Tuesday.

While it may not be legal to prevent recently relocated Californians from voting in state and local elections, it would be worthwhile for current citizens to prepare campaign ads that featured homeless camps, rats, needle-cluttered children’s parks, and other reminders to those refugee voters about the consequences of choosing poorly.


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