California Is Set to Lose a House Seat. What Now?


Christopher Thornberg, founder partner of Beacon Economics (a Los Angeles-based consulting firm), told me last year that California has crossed a line when home values start to fall.

Home prices have done the exact opposite.

Recently, and especially under the Trump administration, immigration has slowed down. H.D. estimates that immigration accounted for between 0.4 percent and 0.5 per cent of California’s annual population growth in the first half decade. Palmer, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Finance, told Shawn. That began to drop to 0.1 percent in 2017, after Donald J. Trump was elected president.

California is still a growing state, so why is it losing a congressional seat?

As Eric McGhee explained to us early last year, “It’s a zero-sum board.”

Although seats were not added to Congress for most of American history but they were allowed in the House of Representatives until 1911 when the limit was set at 435.

Which means that your state can grow and still lose representation, if it doesn’t grow enough relative to other states.

California’s number was 53, which is the lowest level of representation since 2001. There were many concerns last year about participation in census, but demographers knew that the state could lose a representative.

What next?

The shifts will, in general, redistribute power throughout the country. However it remains to be determined what that will look.

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