BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts will retain all nine of its seats in the U.S. House following the release of new Census Bureau data Monday, slowing a century-long trend of the state losing seats.
“However having said that, there have been shifts within the state,” Secretary of State William Galvin said. “According to the Bureau, population statewide has surpassed 7 million. It’s 7,029,917.”READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
That would make the average district size about 781,102 people.
“The legislature in redrawing these districts will have to transfer population from the eastern Mass. districts to the western Mass. districts and the central Mass. districts. That is going to be challenging,” Galvin said, due to the state’s shape.
“In the past, it was possible to draw long and snaking districts, you can’t do that anymore and you shouldn’t do that. We also have to make sure we preserve the minority-majority district that’s located in eastern Massachusetts that was constructed in the last Census in 2010.”
He added, “While I’m pleased at the overall numbers and gratified by the growth that it shows here in Massachusetts, it still remains to be seen how it’s going to work out in terms of political representation.”READ MORE: NASA Rocket Launch Friday Night Should Be Visible Along East Coast
The state lost a congressional seat in the 2010 census when the number of seats fell from 10 to nine after the state’s more modest population growth in the prior decade failed to keep pace with growth in other parts of the country.
The loss of seats was part of a historic trend.
Massachusetts added two seats after the 1910 census, bringing its total to a high of 16 seats for the 20th century, only to see those numbers steadily decline during the following decades with the state’s relative slower growth in population.
The 435 seats in the House of Representatives are divided among the states based on population. As growing states get more congressional seats because of population gains, states that lose population or do not grow as fast get fewer seats.MORE NEWS: 'Vaxed And Relaxed' Cruise To Set Sail In Boston
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