The federal government released statewide Census 2020 data on Tuesday, and it showed that Massachusetts had grown in the last 10 years by 473,825 people to a total of more than 7 million residents, and that the state would keep all nine members of Congress – avoiding what was expected to be a messy redistricting process if a seat had to be eliminated as was done in 2010.
The official apportionment population of Massachusetts was 7,033,469 people as of April 1, 2020 – known as Census Day. That was a dramatic increase from the Census 2010 numbers, where Massachusetts had 6,559,644 people, and the state lost its 10th member of Congress. Though there were gains in the state, it wasn’t enough to add back a member of Congress.
That said, Massachusetts was able to keep all nine members of Congress, and avoid what many considered a very possible shrinkage to eight members. That would have required the elimination of district and the re-drawing of lines to accommodate that loss. Many speculated prior to the release of the statewide data that the district most likely to be reconfigured was District 7 – which is the district that encompasses Everett, Chelsea Charlestown, Somerville, Cambridge, other parts of Boston and communities south of Boston. That, now, will not be necessary.
Historically, Massachusetts is at an all-time low for representation. In 1910, the state had 16 members of Congress, but that has steadily declined over the decades to nine members.
Nationwide, population growth once again spiked in the west – particularly Texas, which gained two Congressional seats on top of the four that state gained in 2010. Gaining one new seat were Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon.
Seven states lost one seat, including California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Those states, minus California and West Virginia, all lost seats in 2010 as well.
Nationwide, the new population count, including Puerto Rico, was 334,735,155 people – which was an increase over 2010, but did show a slowing of population growth from recent years. The total population in 2010 for the United States was 312,471,327.
Apportionment is the process of dividing the 435 memberships, or seats, in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states. At the conclusion of each Census, the results are used to calculate the number of seats to which each state is entitled. Each of the 50 states is entitled to a minimum of one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The City and Town data for Everett and other communities – as well as neighborhood and Census tract data – is expected to be released in the early summer months, maybe as early as May.