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9:55am — Census: 8 States Could Lose House Seats

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico shouldn’t be one of them, according to latest state population estimates released today.

Eight states, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest, could lose seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, based on an analysis of Census estimates of 2008 state populations released today, USA Today reported.

Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania each would lose a seat, according to an analysis for USA Today by Election Data Services Inc.

Five states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Utah — would each gain one seat, and Texas was the big winner, adding an expected three House seats, the analysis said.

New Mexico — which had an estimated population of 1,984,356 as of July 1, 2008 — is expected to keep its three House seats, all occupied (for the immediate future) by Democrats.

Six of the nation’s 10 fastest-growing states from 2007 to 2008 were Rocky Mountain states — Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, according to a Census Bureau news release.

New Mexico gained 19,954 in estimated population from July 1, 2007 to July 1, 2008, registering a rate of growth of 1 percent, good enough for 18th fastest-growing state in the nation, according to tables on the Census Bureau Web site.

One big surprise in this year’s estimates was that Utah was the fastest-growing state from 2007 to 2008, growing by 2.5 percent, while last year’s leader, Nevada, fell to a tie for fourth place with Idaho and Wyoming at 1,8 percent, according to the Census news release.

This year’s second fastest-growing state was Arizona at 2.3 percent, which actually marked a falloff from its 2.8 percent growth from 2006 to 2007, according to the USA Today report.

Texas was the biggest gainer numerically, growing by 484,000 since last year, followed by California (379,000), North Carolina (181,000), Georgia (162,000) and Arizona (147,000), USA Today reported.

California remained the nation’s most populous state at 36.8 million, followed by Texas at 24.3 million, New York with 19.5 million, Florida at 18.3 million and Illinois, 12.9 million, according to the estimates.

The only two states to decline in estimated population from 2007 to 2008 were Michigan, losing 0.5 percent, and Rhode Island, declining 0.2 percent, the Census Bureau said.

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