Census figures indicate Arizona gets 10th seat in House

Arizona is one of five states likely to gain at least one seat in Congress in 2020/Source U.S. Census Bureau

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services

All those folks fleeing elsewhere puts Arizona on track for picking up a 10th seat in the U.S. House of Representatives beginning in 2022.

And that’s going to result in some political jockeying among current and would-be federal lawmakers as current members of Congress weigh whether to seek re-election in their own redrawn district or run in another. Then there’s the potential political musical 6chairs, with not just an open race for governor but Republican lawmakers eyeing a chance to oust newly elected U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly in 2022.

All that is the result of new preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau that show the state’s population has increased by slightly more than a million since the official decennial count in 2010. That’s a growth rate of 16.1%, which is the fifth highest in the nation.

By contrast, the entire country grew at just 6.7%. Only Utah, Texas, Idaho and Nevada had greater decade-over-decade growth.

What makes that important is that the House has a fixed number of representatives at 435. So if Arizona is growing so much faster than much of the rest of the country, it should get a bigger voice in that chamber. And states that haven’t grown as fast or whose populations have shrunk would lose.

Only thing is, it’s not a matter of simple math.


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December 2020