Alabama to retain all seven U.S. House seats following 2020 Census
The U.S. Census Bureau on Monday announced the first batch of results from the 2020 Census.
After processing all relevant data, the newly announced results included population totals for the nation and the states as well as the congressional apportionment totals for each state.
Alabama will retain all seven of its seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, per the Census Bureau announcement.
The state was widely projected coming into the 2020 Census to be a state that would lose one seat due to relatively slow population growth.
However, more recent estimates had shown that Alabama could narrowly hang onto all of its existing seats — a projection that has now become reality.
Monday’s news represents a huge win for the state of Alabama and the broad coalition of public, private, academic, civic, faith-based and non-profit partners that helped lead the charge to increase the Yellowhammer State’s 2020 Census participation.
Much of this work occurred through Alabama Counts!, which was created by Governor Kay Ivey. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) contracted with Birmingham-based BIG Communications to run that effort.
Ivey released a statement celebrating Monday’s announcement.
“This data reveals what we’ve known all along – Alabama is a great state to call home, and many are choosing to do so,” she said. “I am extremely pleased that we will keep all seven of our current seats in the U.S. House to provide valued and needed voices to advocate for our state and our people for the next 10 years. Our success in the census was certainly a group effort across the entire state, and I offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who played a part.”
One obvious result of Alabama not losing a congressional seat is that sitting U.S. House members will not have to compete against each other in a redistricted map.
“I’m pleased that Alabama’s representation in Congress will remain at seven seats,” stated Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04), the dean of Alabama’s House delegation.
“Two years ago, I and other members of the Alabama delegation began to express the importance of Alabama having a good 2020 Census count,” he continued. “The people of our great state responded and made sure that our collective voice was not diminished in Washington. In the coming months, the Alabama Legislature will have to redraw the district lines to reflect the expected population shift northward. I look forward to working with the rest of the Congressional delegation and members of the Alabama Legislature as this process begins.”
UPDATE 3:15 p.m.
The state-level population counts released Monday showed that Alabama has grown to a total population of 5.03 million, representing a growth of approximately 5.2% since 2010. That was significantly more than the 2.6% growth estimated by the Census Bureau previously.
In fact, Alabama beat expectations by such a wide margin that seven other states would have lost congressional seats before the Yellowhammer State, based on the state-level population results.
Under Ivey’s direction, ADECA’s 2020 Census efforts started in 2017 and continued with Alabama Counts!, a dedicated team effort of hundreds of individuals and groups working together since August 2018. The effort included a multifaceted campaign throughout 2020 that included grassroots outreach, public events and advertising led by BIG. The effort was forced to adjust strategies and tactics several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was by far the most time and resources that Alabama state government has ever given toward a census count, and I am happy that our efforts and hard work have paid off,” advised Kenneth Boswell, chairman of the Alabama Counts! Committee and director of ADECA. “Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Ivey and the dedicated work of all our many partners at all levels, we have succeeded in achieving an accurate count and fair representation.”
The data released on Monday is limited to statewide populations totals only. The more detailed county, city and census tract level data needed for legislative redistricting will be released by September 30, according to the Census Bureau.
This is breaking news and will be updated.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn