Illinois to lose one House seat due to slow population growth

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With population exploding in other states, Illinois’ numbers now only warrant 17 House districts, down from 18. One bureau official said Illinois did well enough in the population count that it "was not close to losing a second seat," as some had expected.

Exact population figures for Illinois were not yet available, though another bureau spokesman said they will be posted later today. 

The census findings will set off a full-scale political food fight in Springfield as legislators prepare to draw new congressional and legislative district maps, possibly approving them before June 30.

If that occurs, Democrats, who hold supermajorities in the state House and Senate plus control of the governor’s mansion, will make all of the decisions, assuming the courts do not interfere. And that likely means one of the state’s five incumbent GOP House members will see their seat go away.

But which one? Some sources in the state’s congressional delegation say downstate freshman Mary Miller, a strong conservative and Donald Trump backer, may be the most vulnerable. But two others—Channahon’s Adam Kinzinger and downstater Rodney Davis— have talked about possibly running against Gov. J.B. Pritzker in 2022, depending on what happens to their districts, which could have an impact, too.

However that plays out, the loss of another congressional seat means that Illinois once again will have less clout in Washington, less ability to cast influential votes and pull strings to get things of value for the state.

Though Illinois’ population growth was particularly slow in the past decade, the loss of congressional seats is a very long-term trend, stretching all the way back to 1913-43, when the state peaked at 27 seats. (See the chart below.) In almost every census since then, the state has lost at least one seat, as other parts of the country, particularly in the South and West, grew faster.

via Crain’s Chicago Business

April 26, 2021 at 02:51PM

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