In May of 2018, the state of Alabama filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Commerce claiming that the existing practice of apportioning Congressional representation based on the total resident population rather than the total citizen population of the United States violates Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment, and both Article I, Section 2 and Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.
The suit argues that the inclusion of non-citizens in the total population count will deprive the state of Alabama its rightful share of political representation, causing the state to lose a congressional seat and an electoral college vote to a state with a higher number of non-citizens.
If the state of Alabama prevails in its lawsuit, our estimates suggest Alabama would not lose a seat, or an electoral college vote, in the 2020 reapportionment.
The ACS 5-year Estimates from 2014-2018 peg the total resident population of the United States at 322,903,030 including 300,613,540 citizens (93.1% of the total population) and 22,289,490 non-citizens (6.9%).
If the United States apportioned representation based on the total citizen population, California would lose four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, New York would lose two, and New Jersey and Illinois would each lose one. Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon would gain a seat each - this is unchanged from our Total Population-based Reapportionment Forecast. Texas and Florida would still stand to gain one seat each, but would not gain multiple districts.
The more notable changes are in the states that would have otherwise lost. Reapportioning based off citizenship totals would preserve AL-07, MI-14, MN-08, OH-16, PA-18, RI-02, and WV-03. It would also give back seats to Missouri and Louisiana that were lost in the 2010 reapportionment.
Many of the preserved seats wouldn't even be on the bubble in 2020. The possibility of Virginia adding a 12th seat would go up, as would the prospects of an OK-06.
If the Census Bureau apportioned representation based on the total citizen population, there would be a gap of 418,336 citizens between the largest and smallest districts.
The largest districts in the country based on the citizen population:
The smallest districts in the country based on the citizen population:
Fair Lines America used the newly released ACS 5-year Estimates from 2014-2018 to forecast how the Census Bureau would reapportion congressional representation based on the total citizen population rather than the total resident population. A weighted growth rate was used to calculate the 2019 and 2020 citizen population estimates.