On April 26, 2021, the initial set of data from the 2020 Census was released. Among all 50 states, 37 grew more slowly in the 2010s than in the previous decade, and three states lost population—the largest number of such states since the 1980s. The constitutionally mandated reapportionment of members of Congress based on the 2020 census indicates a reallocation of seven seats across various states—most notably, the first-ever loss of a seat for California.
The 2020 census results are released in several stages. This first release of total populations for states was scheduled to occur last December. However, collection and processing issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters delayed the release until now.
The purpose of this first set of numbers, articulated in the U.S. Constitution, is to provide the basis for allocating members of the House of Representatives across states, taking into account population changes that have occurred since the prior census. At the same time, these numbers provide a definitive assessment of how populations across each state and the nation have shifted over the prior decade.
Below are key findings from the new census data: