A report by Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, finds that Americans are heading South and West again in search of jobs and more affordable housing, as the nation’s economic health continues to improve. Census population estimates show that the 16 states and the District of Columbia that comprise the South saw an increase of almost 1.4 million people between 2014 and 2015. The 13 states in the West grew by about 866,000 people.
The new estimates, released last month, arrive midway through the decade, halfway to the next census, in 2020, and provide some indications of where the nation is headed from the standpoint of governing from Washington.
If the population shift continues, Texas could gain three new seats in the U.S. House, Florida two, and Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Oregon one apiece after the next census, according to an analysis by Election Data Services, a political consulting firm based in Virginia.
Nine states — Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia — could meanwhile lose a seat apiece.
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