Census: California grows by 10 percent, but no new congressional seats

Forms for Census 2010 are displayed during an event to promote the census at Ben's Chili Bowl April 1, 2010 in Washington, DC.
Forms for Census 2010 are displayed during an event to promote the census at Ben's Chili Bowl April 1, 2010 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The US Census numbers are out. California won’t pick up any new seats in Congress. But this state will still have the largest congressional delegation.

California’s population jumped by 10 percent in the decade since the last census. So you might assume that California would add a few more to its 53-member congressional delegation. But some states grew a lot faster than California. Texas grew by 20 percent and Nevada by 35 percent.

US Census Director Robert Groves says that means one extra representative for each of those states. "Texas gained the most seats this decade," he says, "a total of four. And indeed that state has gained seats for seven consecutive decades."

The US Constitution fixes the number of congressional seats at 435, so California won’t get any more this census.

The Golden State’s growth rate closely mirrors that of the country: the US population is up by just under 10 percent. That’s the second slowest population increase since the country began to tally census numbers back in 1790.

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