If undocumented are not counted for House seats

President Trump signed a memo today with the intent to remove undocumented persons from the population count in the 2020 census when the 435 congressional seats are apportioned. Since neither authorized nor unauthorized persons are identified in the census, the probability of this policy happening are slim simply on data collection grounds. But let’s do some numbers. It appears that 4 seats might be switched among states.

There are 320 million people in the U.S. There are about 11 million undocumented persons, or 3.4% of the total population. The only states where the undocumented population is so proportionally large that they would lose seats are California (lose 2 seats of 53), Texas (lose 1 seat of 36) and Illinois (lose 1 of 18). Florida would come close to losing 1 of 27 seats. (Data on unauthorized populations from here.)

What states might benefit? 16 states are marginally more likely to gain or lose seats before this new factor is taken into account. Brookings demographer William Frey estimated that Texas could gain three seats. Florida could gain two seats; thus the provision would lower the prospects of these two states. North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and Oregon could each gain one seat. Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia could each lose a seat. (from CNN here.)


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