Michigan loses 1 congressional seat as U.S. Census releases apportionment data

Posted at 10:30 AM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 18:33:24-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan is losing one congressional seat, according to the apportionment data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday afternoon.

The state currently has 14, congressional seats, but that will go down to 13. That loss also means the number of Michigan Electoral College votes will drop from 16 to 15.

Every 10 years, the Census is conducted which gives the congressional apportionment totals for every state. That means some states could lose or gain a congressional seat or seats depending on the population.

Michigan is one of seven states that lost seats. Others include California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Six states gained seats: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon each gained a seat, and Texas gained two seats.

Michigan was No. 434 in the ranking, which means the state just missed out on keeping a seat.
"They could've potentially been closer to not losing a seat," one of the panelists said.

Michigan has lost at least one seat after every Census going back to the 1970s.

Between 1973-1982, there were 19 congressional seats. That went down to 18 in 1983, 16 seats in 1993, 15 in 2003 and then 14 in the last decade.

Michigan's population is estimated at 9,986,857 from July 2019, according to the Census Bureau. The population peaked at 10,055,315 in 2004, according to the data.

While the state's population is growing, the state isn't growing as fast as others which is why it lost a seat.

This is also the first year an independent commission will re-draw Michigan's political lines. The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission has been meeting to re-draw the lines, which was previously done by the party in control of the legislature. That was until 2018 when voters passed a proposal to create the commission.

Made up of four Republicans, four Democrats and five Independents, the commission is also asking the Michigan Supreme Court to extend its deadline to submit re-drawn maps due to a delay in the census data.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they expect to have redistricting information by Aug. 16, and the final redistricting data toolkit by Sept. 30.

Under the proposal passed in 2018 that created the MICRC, the commission is supposed to make maps available to the public by Sept. 17 so there can be 45 days of public comment. The problem, according to the lawsuit, is that the U.S. Census Bureaus won't have official reapportionment data until Sept. 30.

Benson and the commission are now asking the court to move the deadline for maps to be available to Dec. 11, and the final maps to be approved on Jan. 25, 2022.

Michigan has one of the most gerrymandered legislative maps in the country, and the proposal creating the commission looked to end that.