Editorial

If ever you’ve ever wondered, “What difference can one person make?” ask residents of New York, who will have one less member in Congress, based on the results of the 2020 Census.

If just 89 more people had been counted in the state of New York — and all other state population counts would have remained the same — it would have retained that seat in Congress and Minnesota would have lost one.

And the one it would have lost is likely the 8th District, which includes Koochiching County.

The information was released this week as a part of U.S. Census Bureau’s population data from the Census 2020.

Had Minnesota lost that seat, each of the remaining seven districts would have had to grow by 102,000 people, setting off a complex realignment or redistricting of the state’s political map, noted Susan Brower, State Demographer. The impact in greater Minnesota where the districts are already very large would have been especially difficult.

Keeping all of Minnesota’s eight representatives in the U.S. House means maintaining the clout that helps bring home federal funding for schools, highways, and health care. States losing one seat in Congress included: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. States gaining one or more seats in Congress included Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas

And it seems that Minnesotan’s may have understood the value of being counted. Similar to our apparent love of voting, leading the nation in voter turnout in most elections, Minnesota led the nation in self response to the 2020 Census. The state’s self-response rate was 75.1 percent the highest in the country, while the national average for response rate was around two-thirds.

The U.S. Constitution requires the nation count its population every decade to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

Minnesotans were smart to stand up and be counted.