Census apportionment numbers are in

Texas will gain two seats in Congress, which is one fewer than had been expected based on population growth estimates.

Texas will continue to see its political clout grow as it gains two additional congressional seats — the most of any state in the nation — following the 2020 census, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday.

Thanks to its fast-growing population — largely due to an increase in residents of color, particularly Hispanics — the state’s share of votes in the U.S. House of Representatives will increase to 38 for the next decade. The new counts reflect a decade of population growth since the last census, which determines how many congressional seats are assigned to each state. Texas is one of six states gaining representation after the census. The other five states are each gaining one seat.

The 2020 census puts the state’s population at 29,145,505 — up from 25.1 million in 2010 — after gaining the most residents of any state in the last decade. More detailed data, which lawmakers need to redraw legislative and congressional districts to reflect that growth, isn’t expected until early fall. But census estimates have shown it’s been driven by people of color.

Through 2019, Hispanics had accounted for more than half of the state’s population growth since 2010, a gain of more than 2 million residents. And although it makes up a small share of the total population, estimates showed the state’s Asian population has grown the fastest since 2010. Estimates have also shown the state’s growth has been concentrated in diverse urban centers and suburban communities.

With its gain of two seats, the state’s footprint in the Electoral College will grow to 40 votes. But Texas will remain in second place behind California for the largest congressional delegation and share of Electoral College votes. California is losing a congressional seat but will remain on top with 52 seats and 54 votes in the Electoral College. The other states losing seats are Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Florida, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one seat.


Texas ultimately fell short of the three congressional seats it was projected to gain based on population estimates. Census Bureau officials on Monday indicated the state’s 2020 population count was slightly lower — a difference of about 1% — than the estimates.

In the lead-up to the census, Republican Texas lawmakers shot down any significant funding for state efforts to avoid an undercount in the 2020 census, leaving the work of chasing an accurate count to local governments, nonprofits and even churches. Texas is home to a large share of residents — Hispanics, people who don’t speak English, people living in poverty and immigrants, to name a few — who were at the highest risk of being missed in the count.

I’ve been blogging about this for a long time, so go search the archives for the background. We’ll never know if some effort from the state government might have yielded a higher population count, but other states with large Latino populations like Florida and Arizona did not get the apportionment gains they were expected to, while New York only lost one seat and Minnesota didn’t lose any. California grew by over two million people over the past decade, by the way, but its share of the total population slipped, and that cost it a seat. Yes, I know, it’s crazy that the US House has the same number of members it has had since 1912, when each member of Congress represented about 30,000 people (it’s about 760,000 people now), but here we are.

The Chron goes into some more detail.

“We’ll have to wait for more granular data, but it certainly looks like the Texas Legislature’s decision not to budget money to encourage census participation combined with the Trump administration efforts to add a citizenship question cost Texas a congressional district,” noted Michael Li, an expert on redistricting who serves as senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.

Census Bureau officials said Monday they were confident in the results, noting the state’s actual population was within 1 percent of the estimates.

The new population figures come as lawmakers in Texas prepare to redraw political boundaries, including for the state’s congressional delegation, which will remain the second-biggest in the nation as it adds two more members, for a total of 38. That trails California, which is set to lose a seat for the first time in state history, and will have 52 members.

Republicans will control the redistricting process and are expected to use it to reinforce their control of the delegation.

[Mark] Jones at Rice University said the party now just has to decide how safe or risky it wants to be with the new seats. Republicans can play it safer by tossing the new districts to Democrats while shoring up GOP votes in the 22 seats they hold now, which would keep them in control of the delegation. Or they could use the new seats to break up Democrat districts and try to gain ground.


Li expects the two additional seats to bring “demands for increased representation of communities of color, which will be at odds with the party that will control redistricting.”

Li said chances are high that the maps Texas Republicans draw will end up in court for that exact reason, something that has happened each of the last five decades.

“That’s almost a certainty,” Li said. “Every decade, Texas’s maps get changed a little or a lot because it’s never managed to fairly treat communities of color.”

Of course, we have a very hostile Supreme Court now, and no Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. It would be very, very nice if the Senate could find a way to pass the two big voting rights bills that have been passed by the House, but until that happens we’re looking at a lot of sub-optimal scenarios. I’ve been saying what Prof. Jones says here, that the approach the Republicans take will depend to a large degree on their level of risk aversion, but never underestimate their desire to find advantage. There will be much more to say as we go on, but this will get us started. Daily Kos, Mother Jones, and the Texas Signal have more.

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24 Responses to Census apportionment numbers are in

  1. John Hansen says:


    Not wanting to be nerdy, but the 1910 Census count was about 92.2 million and divided by 435 gives about 212,000 persons per district, not 30,000. Of course, that was long before Carr v. Baker, so I’m sure there were large variations from the average in many states. Your point is still valid, however.

  2. voter_worker says:

    The Legislature should revive the old August election date just this once and use it for next year’s primaries.

  3. John, thanks for the feedback. I got that number from one of the stories I read about the apportionment numbers, not from my own calculation. Either I misread it or the number cited was wrong, I don’t know. Thank you for the clarification.

    (Also, being nerdy here is always fine. We appreciate nerdiness.)

  4. Joel says:

    30K was the original size of house districts.

  5. res publica americana says:


    61st United States Congress

    In 1910, there were 391 representatives (rather than 435) and 7 nonvoting representatives. President William H. Taft signed legislation increasing the membership of the House from 391 to 433. Inter alia, Alaska and Hawaii weren’t states yet. The tally stood at 46 in 1910, 48 by 1920.

    So the House size affects the mean per-district population figure, depending on what year the calculation is done for, not just census count itself.

    SOURCES: Wikipedia, US census and US Capitol websites.

    NOMENCLATURE: Dividend ÷ Divisor = Quotient.

    Dividend: The dividend is the number that is being divided in the division process.
    Divisor: The number by which dividend is being divided by is called divisor.
    Quotient: The quotient is a result obtained through the division operation.

  6. Re: Hostile Supreme Court when it comes to voting rights

    Recent Scholarship on the topic:


    Undue Deference to States in the 2020 Election Litigation.

    Joshua A. Douglas
    University of Kentucky – College of Law

    Date Written: February 4, 2021


    This Essay provides the first comprehensive analysis of the numerous election law cases that the [US] Supreme Court and the federal appellate courts decided in 2020. The picture is bleak. Instead of protecting the constitutional right to vote, the Supreme Court and lower federal appeals courts unduly deferred to state legislatures in how to run the election, with little concern for the difficulties voters faced during a pandemic. In at least twenty-eight cases the Supreme Court and federal appellate courts espoused this undue deference standard.

    Appellate courts reversed at least 18 cases where the district courts had issued pro-voter decisions.

    The courts did not explicitly overrule the familiar Anderson-Burdick test for the right to vote, but it applied it unfaithfully and without any rigor, failing to require states to identify the “precise interests” that their laws promote or why it was “necessary” to burden voters’ rights. This mode of analysis devalues the right to vote, the most fundamental right in our democracy. Several justices and one appellate court also reinvigorated the “independent state legislature” doctrine to defer to states’ election rules, without regard for the right to vote. If the courts do not alter their jurisprudence, then the only solution may be robust federal legislation or a constitutional amendment that enshrines the right to vote in the U.S. Constitution and requires states to justify, with specificity, any infringements on that right.

    CITATION: Douglas, Joshua, ‘Undue Deference to States in the 2020 Election Litigation.’ (Feb. 4, 2021). 30 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal [forthcoming], available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3720065

    For state-court election litigation in SCOTX, see https://ssrn.com/abstract=3729528 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3729528
    (‘Texas Supreme Court 2020 Election Litigation: List of Cases with Hyperlinks to Dockets and Opinions.’) (Nov. 12, 2020).

  7. John Hansen says:

    Res publica americana: Your basic point is correct. I was using the 1910 Census enumeration with the 1912 number of House seats (there being no new Census numbers in 1912). There were 435 seats in the 1912 elections, after the admission of Arizona and New Mexico. 291 Dems, 134 Reps and 10 Progressives. In 1910, there had been 394 seats – 229 Dems, 162 Reps, 1 Socialist and 2 Independents.

    The Socialist was Victor Berger from Milwaukee. The Socialist Party had won the Milwaukee municipal elections in 1910 and carried the 5th Congressional District of Wisconsin along with the municipal victories. As you might suspect, I grew up around Milwaukee, which is why I am familiar with that history.

  8. Manny says:

    Texas could have gained three seats, but thanks to the orange buffoon and the ignorant cult followers, they convince many immigrants not to count. So Trump did something good for the good guys.

  9. Bill Daniels says:


    You’re not being accurate. Let’s just pretend your supposition is true, that Trump helped squash the counting of some illegal aliens. That’s not the same as quashing participation of Immigrants, those here with a green card, or those here on valid visas, have exactly ZERO reason to not answer the census. None. In fact, they have every reason TO answer the census. More federal money for charity hospitals, schools, welfare programs? This all benefits legal immigrants, and since they are here just as legally as you and me, there’s no down side for them.

    And if we’re being pragmatic, let’s say Texas could have picked up another 3 seats if the illegals hadn’t ducked the count (your assertion). Those new seats would be in predominantly urban (read: leftist) districts, so adding House seats in those areas would be counterproductive for Republicans. If you are a Republican, why would you want to add another She-Jack or Sylvia Garcia to the House?

    Flip this around, and pretend that counting illegals would lead to more Republican House districts….is that something that you, as a Democrat, would be happy about and support?

    Finally, beyond all the rhetoric, Trump didn’t actually DO anything to suppress illegal aliens from participating in the census. The existing law says ICE can’t use any info from the Census Bureau, so the trope that Trump scared off illegals from participating is just another Blue Anon conspiracy theory not grounded in fact.

  10. Manny says:

    Bill, put your tin hat on.

    They need to keep you inside the mental zoo for longer periods of time.

    Stop the lies, that is all that the Republicans/fascists/racists do now, lie, lie, and then lie some more.

  11. Analysis of Pending Reapportionment and Who Benefits for Counting Aliens

    THE CRITICAL CONTROL POINT (Intervening Variable)

    Regardless of the share of the Texas population increase attributable to recent immigration (and regardless of whether legal or not), the corresponding increase in congressional seats accrues to the benefit of the party in control at the state level. That’s because that party gets to re-draw the district lines of the existing districts, which is obviously necessary to geographically locate the 2 new districts even if there were no other reason (or motive) for redrawing the boundaries.

    That party being the GOP in Texas, the GOP benefits, and would have benefitted even more from the third seat. Had Texas turned blue, however, it would be a different story. It is not entirely clear what the Trump Administration’s thinking was in regard to the purported benefits of undercounting nonvoters.


    Because the redistricting is done in a self-serving partisan fashion (“packing and cracking”), a population increase in metropolitan areas that entails additional seats thanks to nationwide reapportionment does not necessarily translate in a gain for Democrats merely be because Democratic candidates do better in urban areas.

    Also note that the one-person-one-vote principle is not as simple a concept as might appear at first glance.

    The Census enumerates the resident population, not the electorate. The enumerated include three large segments that are not enfranchised: (1) those under the age of 18; (2) legal residents (permanent resident aliens or green-card holders); and (3) foreign persons whose presence in the territory has not been approved by the federal government. [The term ‘illegals’ should be avoided because no human being ought to be classified as illegal on universal moral grounds].


    Just like the slaves in the Southern states under the Three-Fifths Compromise, the presence of aliens who have not been naturalized *increases* the power of the dominant political party in the state, and correspondingly that party’s clout in the U.S. House of Representatives relative to the other states. (Since each state has two Senators, it doesn’t affect the Senate.) Indeed, undocumented aliens would be worth more to the party controlling the state than slaves at the time of the Great Compromise (five fifths instead of just three), provided these other-persons are properly documented and accounted for in the census.


    So, eventually, the Democrats might benefit (both at the state and national level) from an increase in the number of people barred from voting in Texas, but in the short term that prospect will be tempered by the degree of success the GOP achieves with its various gerrymandering machinations in the Texas Legislature. More importantly, the GOP will benefit from the current census inclusion of folks not legally eligible to vote, and would likely have benefitted even more (in the form of 1 additional seat) had there been less of an undercount.


    Note that these Republican machinations include the proposed creation of new statewide appellate courts, with each member to be elected statewide to take advantage of the overall Republican majority on an each-voter/one-vote basis (as opposed to having each member elected from a different appellate district).

    This particular plan to secure partisan control over a new appellate court (with exclusive jurisdiction) could backfire, however, because the state as a whole cannot be gerrymandered (in the traditional sense of the term) to dilute the electoral support for the opposition party, currently the Democrats. That’s were selective voter suppression comes in as an alternative mechanism to defend incumbency status of the party in power at the state level.


    With proportional representation (PR) as an electoral system choice, the business of partisan gerrymandering could be reduced, if not altogether avoided. PR could also be used for multi-member judicial bodies (SCOTX, CCA, and the proposed specialty appellate courts) to prevent partisan and ideological monoculture, and thereby improve the quality of the state’s jurisprudence.

    Mixed membership would bring thought diversity to the court and would entail more vigorous contestation of competing interpretations legal texts, not to mention different takes on the proper role of common-law (i.e.., judge-devised) doctrines, and the scope and substance of Texans’ rights under their own state constitution.

    Alas, the merits of switching to a PR system of elections is not even part of the contemporary conversation about how to restore a properly functioning democratic political system, a system that would benefit from institutional design features that encourage mutual accommodation and compromise in light of what we see now: worsening polarization within the political class and (to a lesser degree) in the population, and the substitution of theatrics and appeals to emotion (demagoguery) for substance.

  12. Bill Daniels says:


    Although we may now find the term “illegal alien” hurtful, it is a legal term, codified in US law.



    8 U.S.C. § 1365 – U.S. Code – Unannotated Title 8. Aliens and Nationality § 1365. Reimbursement of States for costs of incarcerating illegal aliens and certain Cuban nationals

    (a)  Reimbursement of States

    Subject to the amounts provided in advance in appropriation Acts, the Attorney General shall reimburse a State for the costs incurred by the State for the imprisonment of any illegal alien or Cuban national who is convicted of a felony by such State.

    (b)  Illegal aliens convicted of a felony

    An illegal alien referred to in subsection (a) of this section is any alien who is any alien convicted of a felony who is in the United States unlawfully and–

    (1)  whose most recent entry into the United States was without inspection, or

    (2)  whose most recent admission to the United States was as a nonimmigrant and–

    (A)  whose period of authorized stay as a nonimmigrant expired, or

    (B)  whose unlawful status was known to the Government,

    before the date of the commission of the crime for which the alien is convicted.

  13. Manny says:

    The N-word used to be used Bill legally, you racists never change, must be in the DNA.

    Tin hat, Bill, and your handlers need to put you on a shorter leash.

  14. Bill Daniels says:


    Despite your progressive political leanings, I’m guessing you were never a fan of progressive rock….Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake and Palmer, etc. Shame, because you’d probably be a less angry, more mellow person if you took a little time to pop on the headphones and listen to a masterpiece like Dark Side of the Moon, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, or Tales from Topographic Oceans, once in a while.

    Anyway, here’s a thread themed song from Genesis, just for you; granted, it was from the more pop Phil Collins years, vs. the (IMHO) better Peter Gabriel era:



  15. C.L. says:

    Bill, I’ll agree with you on this one thing: Gabriel Genesis > Collins Genesis.

  16. Manny says:

    Bill, you are a very stupid person. Did you ever think that each generation has their own groups that they like? For example, Santana, War, Chicago, CCR, Dylan, Janis, etc., plus I also enjoy old country songs and Chicano Classics from the 60s. I also listen to classics, including opera.

    Is Emerson Lake and Palmer like the Mamas and the Papas?

    I don’t tread lightly when racists like you, Bill, engage in lies.

    Have no idea who Genesis is.

  17. Manny says:

    I guess Emerson was in the 60s, after looking them up, but I did not much care for the British sound, with one or two exceptions from the Beetles.

  18. David Fagan says:

    Tejano originated from German polka, that is where the accordion in Tejano came from. So, next time you’re listening to Tejano, go thank a German, Manny.

    You can call me a liar, but do your research and find the truth. Or, just listen to both and realize the extreme similarities.

  19. Bill Daniels says:

    David is correct. One of the shows I really liked year after year at Miller Outdoor Theater was the Accordian Kings show….multiple musical genres, all featuring the accordion. The best part was when the various band members got together to jam, at the end of the show. Sad that tradition seems to have ended.


  20. Fritz Kraut says:

    “German polka?”

    Outrageous! Surely you mean white supremacist polka, right?

    Or at least Caucasian Polka, to be racialistically “correct”.

    In a more serious vein, Polka is not German, but Czech (Bohemian, to be more specific). The Czech cultural and historic connection is much closer with Austria (the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the relevant time, with Vienna as political and cultural/musical capital) than with Germany, which didn’t even exist at the time Polka was invented. Prague and Vienna played key roles in the popularization of Polka in Europe and beyond.

    Note that ethnic Czechs also settled Texas, not just ethnic Germans.

  21. David Fagan says:

    Support diverse cultures:

    Texas Polka Museum

    712 Lyons Ave
    Schulenburg, TX 78956

    Thursday, Friday & Saturday
    10 am – 3 pm


  22. Manny says:

    David, what makes you think I have not been to German festivals or do not know the history of Tejano music. Do you assume that people that look like me are as stupid as you are? I have also been to Polish, and Czech festivals.

    Texas comes from a Native American word, Tejas. Did you know that, David? I hope you did, or you dumber than I thought.

    Until Covid, I had not missed a year in nearly 30 of going to the Texas Renaissance Festival.

  23. Manny says:

    So David next time you say, Texas go thank a Native American.

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