California could lose congressional seat following 2020 census

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This March 23, 2018, file photo shows an envelope containing a 2018 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident as part of the nation’s only test run of the 2020 Census. Legal wrangling has surrounded the U.S. census count for decades, culminating in this year’s fight over adding a citizenship question. (AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) — California could lose a congressional seat, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Brookings Institution demographer and senior fellow William Frey analyzed the census estimates that show the U.S. had the slowest population growth rate in a century.

Nationwide, there have been fewer births and more deaths.

In California, one estimate put the Golden State’s population at 39.96 million. A report by the California Department of Finance shows the state added more than 180,000 people when accounting for births and deaths for the 12-month period ending July 1. But when you include people who moved in and out of the state, California lost 39,500.

Many people are leaving California and moving into states like Texas and Florida, possibly changing the congressional landscape.

Congressional seats are based on population. With these estimates, while California could lose a seat in the House of Representatives, Texas is poised to gain three seats and Florida would gain two.

The estimates point to the importance of an accurate census.

If the estimates play out in the 2020 census, the results won’t impact elections until 2022.

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