The U.S. Census Bureau released its reapportionment numbers for the 2020 Census, and confirmed that Virginia will continue to have 11 congressional districts for the next decade.
At a press conference, Dr. Ron S. Jarmin, the bureau’s acting director, reported that six states would gain congressional seats while seven would lose seats. With a newly counted national population of 331,449, 281 persons, a Member of Congress, on average nationwide, will represent 761,169 persons, an increase of about 50,000 over the past decade.
The bureau reported that Virginia has 8,654,542 persons, or 786,776.5 persons per congressional district, a standard that will guide congressional map-drawing this year. That is about 56,000 more persons per congressional district than was tabulated in 2011.
States in the South region, which includes Virginia, grew the most over the past decade, by 10.2 percent. But Jarmin said that was a lower rate of growth than the previous decade. Nationwide, the population grew by 7.4 percent, but Jarmin said that was the lowest growth rate since the 1930s.
Jarmin reiterated that all states will receive the Census data they need to begin the redistricting process by August 16, with final data provided by September 30. Unlike previous years, all states will receive their data at the same time.
Jarmin asserted that Census officials were confident of the accuracy and statistical reliability of this year’s data and released analyses to back that up.
The results of the 2020 Census were delayed this year because of issues related to the pandemic and other factors. As a result, members of the Virginia House of Delegates will have to run in their current districts, as there will not be adequate time for the new Virginia Redistricting Commission to complete its work after receiving the final Census data that it will need.
For more information on the Census Bureau’s report, click here.
–Sara Fitzgerald, LWV-Falls Church