Some days come around once a month, others once a year, and yet some come around once a decade. Once a decade? That’s right! The twenty-fourth US census (or a count of how many people live in the United States and where) took place last year, but the results weren’t published until recently. Why should we care about the results, you might be wondering? Census data tells the government where, how, and why it should distribute funds, and how much representation each state gets in the federal government. For example, California, with a population of nearly 40 million people, is allotted more seats in the House of Representatives than Iowa, whose population of approximately 3.19 million people, is allotted a lot less. More results will be available, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the biggest changes that took place over the last decade and what they mean.
-There are more people living in the United States—approximately 22.7 million more since the last census!
-Over 39.5 million people live in California, making it the most populous state. Wyoming, on the other hand, is the least populous state with approximately 577,000 people living there.
-While California may be the most populous state in the country, fewer people live there now compared to ten years ago. In fact, approximately two million people left the state, enough for the state to lose one seat in the House of Representatives and one Electoral College vote.
-Texas was the opposite of California and saw its population grow by nearly four million people. For this reason, they will receive two more seats in the House of Representatives and two more Electoral College votes.
Interesting fact: US citizens are legally required to complete the census—it’s the law!