The U.S. Census Bureau on Monday released a first set of results from the 2020 Census, which show that Alabama’s population count was high enough to prevent the state from losing a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Alabama was one of several states projected to lose a congressional seat, which would have also cost the state an Electoral College vote. The state must redraw district lines in 2021, according to Alabama’s Constitution.
Alabama’s population count of 5,030,053 was more than 108,000 higher than a previous U.S. Census Bureau estimate in January.
“This data reveals what we’ve known all along – Alabama is a great state to call home, & many are choosing to do so. I am extremely pleased that we will keep all seven of our current seats in the U.S. House to provide valued and needed voices to advocate for our state and our people for the next 10 years,” said Gov. Kay Ivey in a series of tweets Monday. “Our success in the census was certainly a group effort across the entire state, and I offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who played a part.”
Ron Jarmin, acting director of the U.S. Census Bureau, said during a press conference Monday that according to the 2020 Census, the number of people living in the United States was 331,449,281. That’s a 7.4 percent growth from the 2010 Census, which was the slowest growth rate from decade to decade in U.S. History.
“The Department of Commerce and Governor Ivey deserves tremendous credit for recognizing the importance of a full count in the state of Alabama,” said Steve Katsinas, director of the University of Alabama’s Education Policy Center, speaking to APR by phone Monday. “The policymakers need to be concerned that they stop population loss in Alabama’s Black Belt, and small cities like Aniston, Decatur and Gadsden. If we fail to develop growth strategies for these areas of our state we could lose two seats in 2030.”
Census results were to be released months ago but were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a decision by the Trump administration to shorten the timelines for gathering Census responses.
States that gained Congressional seats according to the Census data are Texas, Florida, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon, while states losing seats are California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.