New York loses two seats from slow population growth

The 2010 census numbers are in and the outlook isn’t good for New York representation in Congress.

According to the new census numbers released on December 21, New York State will lose 2 of its 29 seats in the House of Representatives because of a drop in its population growth. The state’s 2010 population is 19,378,102 according to the report, just a 2.1 percent increase over the 2000 population of 18,978,457. New York remains the third most populous state behind California and Texas.

House seats are distributed according to a congressionally-defined formula, which first assigns one seat to each state and then distributes the remaining 385 seats among them by population. New York will have 27 representatives when the reapportionment takes effect in 2013.

Each member of the House represents, on average, about 710,767 people. Each of the New York members will represent an average of 719,298 New Yorkers.

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution calls for a census of the nation’s population every 10 years to apportion the 435 House seats among the states. The 2010 Census is the 23rd census in U.S. history.

The Census Bureau has not yet released regional data used for redrawing voting districts, which will give more specific data for Shelter Island in 2010. Law mandates that the data be released in full by April 1.


The bureau also collected data on Island residents from 2005 to 2009 in its American Community Survey (ACS), which was released on December 14. It estimates the Island’s average population from 2005 and 2009 at 2,705, with a margin of error of 181. It estimates those 65 or over at 961 with a margin of error of 240, or 35.5 percent of the population.

That’s an increase from the 2000 decennial census, which reported a population of 2,228, and those over 65 was 638, 28.6 percent of the total.

The ACS estimates are based on data from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2009. The ACS also collects information on a one-year and three-year scale, but the five-year period gives more accurate estimates.