(WASHINGTON, DC) — Today, the Census Bureau released apportionment data, which determines the number of representatives in the House of Representatives for each state and the Electoral College. Undoubtedly, this census endured unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted, delayed, or canceled virtually every census operation. This was exacerbated by the political interference from the previous administration, including attempts to add an untested, eleventh-hour citizenship question to the census form and unconstitutionally exclude noncitizens from the apportionment totals.
Statement from Kathay Feng, National Redistricting and Representation Director, Common Cause
No matter which states gain or lose population or congressional seats, it is important to acknowledge the unprecedented effort from coalitions of advocates, students, teachers, small businesses, and local and state governments across all 50 states to ensure everyone, especially those from historically marginalized communities, was counted in the 2020 Census. Accurate census data is the first step to ensuring that everyone is fairly represented by their elected officials.
The population shifts that we see in the apportionment data release are driven primarily by growth in Black, Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islander, and other communities of color. Following apportionment, all states go through the process of redistricting congressional districts. Our top priority is ensuring that states that are adding congressional seats recognize the population growth fueled by communities of color in the upcoming redistricting process.
Apportionment is a civic process not a partisan horse race. Legislators and redistricting commissions must put communities, particularly those who have traditionally been excluded, in the center of the conversation. Only then, can we build toward a 21st Century America that is representative of the people, cultures, and ideas that make America vibrant and give us all hope for our shared future.