Minnesota will retain its eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next 10 years. How those districts look, however, remains to be seen.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced its first set of data from the 2020 U.S. Census, Monday. Included in its numbers was how the data collected would impact apportionment in the U.S. House of Representatives, which is determined by the population of each state.
Minnesota’s population was tabulated at 5,706,494 residents — up 7.6%, or 402,569 people — from 2010. That will put the Land of 10,000 Lakes as the 22nd most populous state, down one spot from the 2010 Census.
The Associated Press reported that Minnesota’s bid for the final seat in the U.S. House was likely bolstered by the fact that 75.1% of the state’s population responded during the initial phase of the census. Minnesota has not lost a spot in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1960, when it dropped from nine to its current amount.
“Today’s news is a testament to the people of Minnesota’s incredible commitment to civic engagement and democracy,” said Minnesota Democratic Party Chairman Ken Martin, in a statement. “As a state with both the highest census response rate in the nation at 75.1% and the highest voter turnout in the nation, Minnesotans should be proud of these results. We stepped up, fought hard and retained a seat in Congress that most observers thought we would lose. I am thrilled that Minnesotans will retain their clout in Congress and say in the Electoral College.”
Though exact population numbers at the county, city and township level are yet to be announced, data on how many people responded to the census — and how they did so — was released.
In 2019, Morrison County was estimated to have a population of 33,096. Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau indicated 69.3% of county residents responded during the early self-reporting period. A majority of those responses, 37.9% of the total population, did so online.
The response rate was also available per city. The city of Sobieski had the highest initial response rate of 91.1% of its population answering during the Census Bureau’s first phase. Royalton had the highest rate of online respondents at 64.1%, while the biggest jump in initial response rate was in Flensburg with an increase of 30.8%.
The numbers in Morrison County cities were:
• Little Falls — initial response rate, 77.6%, online response, 40.6%, 2010 initial response rate, 78.5%;
• Bowlus — initial response rate, 83.9%, online response, 26.6%, 2010 initial response rate, 80.2%;
• Buckman — initial response rate, 73.8%, online response, 54.9%, 2010 initial response rate, 44.7%;
• Flensburg — initial response rate, 62.7%, online response, 23.5%, 2010 initial response rate, 31.9%;
• Genola — initial response rate, 69.7%, online response, 45.5%, 2010 initial response rate, 69.7%;
• Harding — initial response rate, 74.5%, online response, 42.6%, 2010 initial response rate, 70.2%;
• Lastrup — initial response rate, 64.2%, online response, 60.4%, 2010 initial response rate, 44%;
• Motley — initial response rate, 67.5%, online response, 22.3%, 2010 initial response rate, 74.8%;
• Pierz — initial response rate, 69.2%, online response, 54.3%, 2010 initial response rate, 79.6%;
• Randall — initial response rate, 71.5%, online response, 25.6%, 2010 initial response rate, 74.2%;
• Royalton — initial response rate, 79.2%, online response, 64.1%, 2010 initial response rate, 78.3%;
• Sobieski — initial response rate, 91.1%, online response, 26.7%, 2010 initial response rate, 84.1%;
• Swanville — initial response rate, 65.7%, online response, 34.9%, 2010 initial response rate, 78.4%; and
• Upsala — initial response rate, 66.8%, online response, 21.7%, 2010 initial response rate, 75.6%.
Prior to Monday’s release, many believed Minnesota was in danger of losing one of its seats in Congress. After the last U.S. Census in 2010, it was awarded the 535rd and final spot. That was the case once again in 2020, narrowly beating out New York for the last seat.
The new Congressional districts will not be drawn until all population numbers are released, which could be as late as September.
“No matter what the new districts look like, we are optimistic about our possibilities to flip even more seats in 2022,” said Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan, in a statement.
During a recent Rosenmeier Forum at Central Lakes College, Minnesota State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R - Big Lake, head of the Senate State Government, Finance, Policy and Elections Committee, stressed the importance of getting the census information as soon as possible. Though there is still time to get all the necessary redistricting and re-apportionment done prior to the 2022 election, it still is time-sensitive.
Kiffmeyer, a native of Pierz, would know. She is a former Secretary of State, the position tasked with overseeing elections in Minnesota.
“The fact is, (the Census Bureau) has statutory requirements to do this and to release the data,” Kiffmeyer said, during the forum. “When they don’t do it, it puts the states in a real issue. I wish they would not do that, because the matters that are at stake here are really critically important.”
There will be impact on where some of the seats in Congress go from a national standpoint. The total population of the United States in 2020, according to the Census Bureau, was 331,449,281 — a 7.4% increase, or 22,703,743 people, over the 2010 Census.
Seven states — Michigan, California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — will lose a seat in Congress. Texas will gain two seats, while Montana, Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina and Florida will all gain one
California maintains the most Electoral College votes with 54. Texas and Florida will both go up to 40 and 30, respectively, while New York drops to fourth-highest with 28.
The state which has gained the most residents between 2010 - 2020, according to the Bureau, is Texas at 3,999,944. California remains the most populous state with more than 38 million residents, with Wyoming having the lowest population at 576,851. The fastest growing by percentage is Utah, which saw an 18.4% increase during the last decade.