2020 Census: Power to the People

A fully-inclusive and accurate 2020 Census count in Minnesota will make the difference between the state continuing to have eight Congressional districts or losing a seat in Congress and Electoral College vote for the first time since the 1960 Census.

According the Election Data Services' most recent analysis (December 2018, PDF summary can be downloaded below), if apportionment were conducted today Minnesota would be assigned the 437th Congressional seat.  With only 435 seats to go around, that wouldn't do us much good.  The state would go from eight to seven Congressional districts. However, the same report noted that if current population trends continue Minnesota would be assigned seat number 434 in 2020. The state is absolutely on the bubble when it comes to keeping all eight of it's current Congressional seats.

This is the same situation Minnesota was in after the 2010 Census.  Minnesota was apportioned seat #435, having counted 8,700 people than North Carolina which got assigned seat #436.

Apportionment after 2010 Census, U.S. Census Bureau

The Consequences of a Low Count

The consequences of losing one Congressional district would be significant. First, the population size for each Congressional district would increase by 100,000 people, based on projections from the Minnesota State Demographic Center.  The districts would need to increase in size to capture the additional people within their new boundaries; a change that would most adversely affect representation in Greater Minnesota. The political upheaval would would significant as this would be the first time in generations (since 1961) that Minnesota woudl be redrawing district lines to eliminate a district.

The Census count also affects state legislative district boundaries.  Areas of the state with lower census participation and counts would see legislative districts expanding, geographically, while higher counts results cause districts to contract after redistricting.

Release of Census Results for Apportionment and Redistricting

Census Day is April 1 2020.  The Census Bureau is required to report the results to the President by December 31, 2020.  Data to use for redistricting must be delivered to the states by April 1, 2021.  The Census Bureau will be providing technical assistance to states to help them prepare to use the redistricting data come April 1, 2021, and work to release data early for states that are adjusting how they assign household locations for incarcerated individuals for the purposes of redistricting for state legislative and local districts (Prisonors of the Census).

For more information, contact Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership and the Minnesota Council of Foundations.  Xp Lee, Public Policy Manager - Census, 612-465-0718 or xplee@mcf.org