2020 Census Results: Illinois Loses 1 Seat in House of Representatives, Will Have 17 Representatives in Congress
That would bring the total number of seats in Illinois to 17, up from 18 previously.
The Census Bureau made the announcement during a livestreamed news conference Monday afternoon.
A total of seven seats were moved as a result of the 2020 census. Oregon, Montana, Florida, North Carolina and Colorado all got a seat in the House. Texas won two seats.
Illinois, California, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia all lost a seat following the 2020 census.
A total of 37 states retained the same number of seats in the House of Representatives. Six states will have only one representative in the House: Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.
Texas, Florida, California and New York are the states that will have the most seats in the House of Representatives. California will have 52, Texas will have 38, Florida will have 28 and New York will have 26.
There has been a trend for decades to move more congressional seats south and west.
“Since 1940, the regional trend with distribution has been an increase in congressional seats for the south and west and a loss for the north, northeast, and midwest,” said Dr. Ron Jarmin, acting director of the US Census Bureau.
Since 1940, there has been a net shift of 84 seats to the South and West.
Illinois was also one of three states to see its population shrink, losing about 44,000 people. State Republicans were quick to blame Democratic politicians.
“The majority party that sent people packing and people fleeing the state of Illinois should not just take the initiative to select their own voters,” said state Rep. Ryan Spain (R -Peoria).
Democrats are already redrawing the district map; by state law, they must draw new congressional and legislative districts by June 30.
“They don’t seem in the mood to give Republicans a freebie to get them into the party,” noted UIC political science professor Chris Mooney.
But Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL 2nd District), who is also chairwoman of the Illinois Democratic Party, said she was confident the process would be fair.
“They will also dictate my seat, but I expect them to be fair and do the best job possible and accommodate the fact that we are losing a seat,” she said.
The Census Bureau will release the rest of the data in August, which will include more details on race and geography, information Democrats in Illinois won’t have until their June 30 deadline. Experts say that could mean the highly political district remapping process could end up in court.
The release of the breakdown figures comes nearly four months later than expected due to delays caused by the pandemic and anomalies discovered in the data as the figures were crushed.
The numbers are state population figures that show how many residents each state has gained or lost over the past decade.
The 435 seats in the House of Representatives are divided among the states according to population. As growing states get more seats in Congress due to population growth, this means fewer seats for states that have lost population or have not grown as quickly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.