As many predicted, California failed to gain a seat in the House of Representatives for the first time since 1920. The U.S. Census reported 37,253,956 California residents in its official count of the population, a growth of 10 percent, the slowest rate in a century.
These official numbers came out yesterday along with the results of how the 435 seats in the House will be redistributed among the states based on the current population figures.
Historically, California has done well, amassing 53 of the 435 seats in the House, still by far the largest delegation. The second biggest state delegation comes from Texas, with 36 representatives. Texas added four House seats in the apportionment yesterday – aided in part by the migration of post-Katrina residents from Louisiana.
Take a look at the U.S. Census Department's interactive graphic of the population and apportionment changes over time.
Now what's going on?
Demographer William Frey, in a recent presentation for the Knight Digital Media Center's Census Workshop, noted California's "middle class" flight from the pricey coastal areas into the interior.
That migration pattern appears to go from the expensive California coast into the interior of California as well as Nevada and Arizona. In fact, if the real estate bubble hadn't burst, Frey suggested that California may even have lost a seat had this migration trend continued.
The initial population counts show slowed growth in California, and Arizona and Nevada as the two states with the biggest growth in population. Nevada increased its residents by 35 percent followed by Arizona at 24.6 percent more residents than in 2000.
Here are a couple more graphics that dig into the population change and reapportionment of House seats over time:
USA Today's interactive predicts that California will start gaining seats again by 2020 based on Census Bureau projections. The graphic also shows the mean center of the population creeping westward and currently located in Missouri. As new results come out from the 2010 Census, that center point will be updated.
The New York Times interactive gives a pretty good visual history of the gains and losses of seats in the states.
U.S. Census Bureau2010 Census apportionment data for California