Illinois congressional delegation to shrink after 2020 Census

Illinois Congress Congressional
Election Data Services projects Illinois will lose at least one seat in the U.S. House after the 2020 Census. (Courtesy photo, Election Data Services)

SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) — Continued population loss means Illinois will have to say goodbye to one at least one of its 18 congressional representatives after the 2020 Census.

Election Data Services recently released its annual projections of which states will gain and lose U.S. Representatives at the next turn of the decade. The projections show Illinois’ 18th Representative will almost certainly be removed and given to another state, said Kimball Brace.

Other states projected to lose seats include Alabama, California, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and West Virginia, according to EDS. New York is projected to lose two representatives.

Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon are all on track to gain a member of the House. Seeing even larger population booms, Florida will likely gain two new representatives and Texas should gain three.

With another two years to go until the Census takes the surveys that will determine which states gain and lose representatives, Brace said Illinois’ seventeenth congressman is likely in danger as well.

“What we are still not certain of is if that loss will actually be two seats and [Illinois] is very close to that,” he said.

Nationally, Brace said most states are seeing fewer people move out of state than normal, where Illinois saw more than 114,000 people move away last year.

“Movement between states is down to only 10 percent,” he said.

The seats will be realigned in 2021. When the Democrats in control of the state redrew the maps in 2001, a Republican Congressional seat was lost.

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The official reapportionment will happen in 2021 after Census numbers are finalized. Once the redraw is certified between the Democratically-controlled General Assembly and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the 2022 election will reflect the newly-drawn maps with fewer representatives.

Brace said the migration of people to the Southern and Western U.S. has been happening since World War II.

Reporting by Cole Lauterbach

The Center Square -- formerly known as Watchdog.org and the Illinois News Network -- and their reporters represent 18 states across the United States as the taxpayers' watchdog, exposing the way government really works.

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