The Sun Belt will gain new seats in Congress based on the U.S. population's continued shift south and west, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and its director, Robert Groves.
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The new data show that the country grew at a slower pace than it has in earlier decades. But states in the South grew at a faster rate than those in the Rust Belt; those states will give up some representation in Congress, while Southern states will grow in influence.
Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina, Georgia, Utah, and Washington state will all gain one member of Congress. The Texas delegation will grow the most, adding four new seats; Florida's will gain two.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, and Louisiana will each lose a House seat. New York and Ohio, both hard hit by generations of migration and more recent industrial stagnation, will lose two seats each.
Louisiana, the only state not in the Northeast or the Midwest to lose a seat, lost population following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when thousands of residents fled to neighboring states, largely to Texas.
The trend of House seats migrating south along with population has continued for the better part of a century. Southern states and those along the country's border with Mexico held 195 seats in the past decade, up from 124 seats after the 1930 Census. In the next decade, those states will be represented by 204 House members.