The nation's 23rd census has concluded that the U.S. population stood at 308,745,538 on April 1 of this year, up 9.7% from 281,421,906 in the year 2000, the Census Bureau announced today.
Census Director Robert Groves was asked about whether the count includes non-citizens — or the "undocumented." "In every Census since 1790, we have counted all persons who live in the country," he says. "We count residents, whether they are citizens or not."
The rate of growth is the slowest since the Great Depression years (when the population grew 7.3%). 60% of the increase was "natural" — from births. The other 40%s was from immigration.
On apportionment in the House, Census says that based on the new population estimate:
— Eight states will gain members in the House. They are: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington.
— Ten states will lose members in the House. They are: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
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Census shows slowing US growth, brings GOP gainsWASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican-leaning states will pick up a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation's population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West.
The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation's population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, a slower pace than the 13.2 percent population increase from 1990 to 2000.
Only one state, Michigan, lost population during the past decade. Nevada, with a 35 percent increase, was the fastest-growing state.
The new numbers are a boon for Republicans, with Texas leading the way among GOP-leaning states that will gain House seats at the Rust Belt's expense. Following each once-a-decade census, the nation must reapportion the House's 435 districts to make them roughly equal in population, with each state getting at least one seat.
That triggers an often contentious and partisan process in many states, which will draw new congressional district lines that can help or hurt either party.
Texas will gain four new House seats, and Florida will gain two. Gaining one each are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.
Ohio and New York will lose two House seats each. Losing one House seat are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Florida will now have as many U.S. House members as New York: 27. California will still have 53 seats, and Texas will climb to 36.
In 2008, President Barack Obama lost in Texas and most of the other states that are gaining House seats. He carried most of the states that are losing House seats, including Ohio and Pennsylvania. Each House district represents an electoral vote in the presidential election process, meaning the political map for the 2012 election will tilt somewhat more Republican.
For the first time in its history, Democratic-leaning California will not gain a House seat after a census.
Starting early next year, most state governments will use detailed, computer-generated data on voting patterns to carve neighborhoods in or out of newly drawn House districts, tilting them more to the left or right. Sometimes politicians play it safe, quietly agreeing to protect Republican and Democratic incumbents alike. But sometimes the party in control will gamble and aggressively try to reconfigure the map to dump as many opponents as possible.
Last month's elections put Republicans in full control of numerous state governments, giving the GOP an overall edge in the redistricting process. State governments' ability to gerrymander districts is somewhat limited, however, by court rulings that require roughly equal populations, among other things. The 1965 Voting Rights Act protects ethnic minorities in several states that are subject to U.S. Justice Department oversight.
The U.S. is still growing quickly relative to other developed nations. The population in France and England each increased roughly 5 percent over the past decade, while in Japan the number is largely unchanged, and Germany's population is declining. China grew at about 6 percent; Canada's growth rate is roughly 10 percent.
The declining U.S. growth rate since 2000 is due partly to the economic meltdown in 2008, which brought U.S. births and illegal immigration to a near standstill compared with previous years. The 2010 count represents the number of people -- citizens as well as legal and illegal immigrants -- who called the U.S. their home on April 1.
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