Michigan might lose another seat in Congress after the 2020 Census

Jan 9, 2014

Right now, Michigan has 14 representatives in Congress, but that number could drop to 13. That's because Michigan's population is predicted to drop, again.

The U.S.  Census Bureau just published projections for state populations. Generally, they predict that population shifts will continue to follow the same trends as they have in the past. The Midwest will likely have lower populations, and the West will gain people.

That's what Kyle Kondik wrote. He's a managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball from the University of Virginia Center for Politics. 

American population growth is faster in the South and West, as it has been for decades. In the U.S. House and the Electoral College, this growth makes the reallocation of seats every 10 years a zero-sum game. 

Sean Trende, of Real Clear Politics used the Census projections and calculated that Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia will all lose one seat in Congress. 

Where might these seats go? Trende says Texas is likely to get two, and Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Virginia might get one.

Here's what that could mean in Michigan. Trende says the predicted changes to the 2024 Electoral College would mean Democratic states would lose three votes to red states. That's because population determines not just the number of Congressional seats a state gets, but the number of electoral college votes it's alloted as well.

Michigan, at 13 seats, would be at "its fewest since the 1910 reapportionment."

This projects a total switch of 14 seats, net. When you control for the size of the House (which was generally increased each decade between 1790 and 1910), this is the fewest number of seats switching between states in a given decade since 1890, and ties for the third-fewest number of seats switching between states in United States history. 

-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom