Over the past decade, the United States population grew at the second slowest rate since the government started counting in 1790, the Census Bureau reported on Monday, a remarkable slackening that was driven by a slowdown in immigration and a declining birthrate.
The bureau also reported changes to the nation’s political map: The long-running trend of the South and the West gaining population — and the congressional representation that comes with it — at the expense of the Northeast and the Midwest continued, with Texas gaining two seats and Florida one, and New York and Ohio each losing one. California, long a leader in population growth, lost a seat for the first time in history.
The data will be used to reapportion seats in Congress and, in turn, the Electoral College, based on new state population counts. The count is critical for billions of dollars in federal funding as well as state and local planning around everything from schools to housing to hospitals.