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Minnesota keeps eight congressional seats as first census data roles in

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Today the U.S. Census Bureau released the first population data from Census 2020, showing that Minnesota’s population grew by 7.6 percent to 5,706,494, outpacing most Midwestern states and keeping pace with the national average.

The nationwide head count showed that the country’s population on April 1, 2020 was 331,449,281, up from 308,745,538 in 2010, for a 7.4 percent increase. The state grew just enough to hold on to all 8 of its congressional seats.

“I want to thank Minnesotans for their nation-leading civic engagement, which made us the number one state in responding to the Census,” said Governor Tim Walz. “Because of that participation, we will be fully represented in Washington and will have access to federal resources we need to improve our infrastructure, fund our schools, and support our health care system.” 

Minnesota hung on to the 435th seat in Congress by a close margin—less than 1,000 people. Keeping all 8 representatives in the U.S. House means maintaining the clout that helps bring home federal funding for schools, highways, and healthcare.

“Losing one district would have been a serious blow to the state,” said Susan Brower, State Demographer. “Had Minnesota lost that seat, each of the remaining seven districts would have had to grow by 102,000 people, setting off a complex realignment or redistricting of the state’s political map. The impact in Greater Minnesota where the districts are already very large would have been especially difficult.”

Minnesota led the nation in self-response to the census, with 75.1 percent of households returning their census form without additional follow up from a census taker. Efforts by governments, non-profit groups, and advocates ensured that residents that are typically undercounted, like college students, the homeless, apartment dwellers, snowbirds, rural areas, and black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) were motivated to fill out their census forms.

“Our great self-response rate gave Minnesota an edge over other states that didn’t respond as thoroughly,” said Brower. “Minnesotans are historically very civically-engaged and that carried through to their participation in the 2020 Census.”

States losing one seat in Congress included: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. States gaining one or more seats in Congress included Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas (+2).

Block level census data that are used in the redistricting process to create new map boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts will be released in August 2021.

Daily Planet

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