The Census Bureau has released its latest count of the nation’s population. The number of Nebraskans grew, but not by much. The updated figures show a state population of 1.896 million, up by 0.7%.
The state population did indeed grow, just not by much.
University of Nebraska-Omaha political science professor Randall Adkins says growth alone won’t guarantee Nebraska retains three seats in the 435-seat United States House of Representatives. If other states grow faster, Nebraska could remain vulnerable to losing a Congressional seat.
“And so what that means is that we are competing with all 49 other states for those Congressional seats,” Adkins tells Nebraska Radio Network. “So, in that respect it’s really a competition between the states.”
Though population growth in Nebraska has been slow, it is in line with population growth nationally. The Census Bureau reports the United States’ population grew by only 0.8% to a total of 321.4 million.
If Nebraska’s population growth lags far enough behind the growth of other states, such as southern states, it could become vulnerable to losing a seat in Congress. Other states, though, have lost population.
Adkins says Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, and Illinois all will likely lose Congressional seats. New York could lose two. North Carolina and Florida expect to pick up one seat each. The Texas House delegation could grow by as much as three seats.
Adkins says a loss of manufacturing jobs as led to a loss of population in many of those states, making them far more vulnerable than Nebraska.
“You know, I would say, at this time, in 2015, as we look at this as a snapshot in time, I don’t see Nebraska’s Congressional seats being vulnerable.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]