It was a high-stakes version of musical chairs, and when the music stopped, Minnesota still had its eighth seat at the table.
The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2020 results on April 26, and many feared the state would not have gained enough new residents to maintain having eight members in the U.S. House. Of the 435 seats in the House, Minnesota was awarded seat No. 435.
The Census Bureau determines how many seats are given each state using an algorithm that attempts to make every U.S. House seat represent the same number of residents. In 2010, each state seat represented 662,991 Minnesotans. In 2020, the number rose to 713,719.
Minnesota claimed the last seat by the slimmest of margins. Had New York mustered a mere 89 more residents, Minnesota would have been pushed out.
As of April 1, 2020, the Census estimates Minnesota's population to be 5,706,494, up 7.6% from 2010. With eight Congressional districts, there will be approximately 714,000 Minnesotans per U.S. House member, lower than the national rate of approximately 761,000 Americans per House member.
It's now up to the legislatures of each state to redraw the maps of their districts. Minnesota is the only state in the nation with a divided Legislature, so you can expect a partisan debate. If Republicans and Democrats come to loggerheads over the map, the courts can take up the matter.
State Demographer Susan Brower said in a statement that losing a district "would have been a serious blow to the state."
"Had Minnesota lost that seat, each of the remaining seven districts would have had to grow by 102,000 people, setting off a complex realignment or redistricting of the state’s political map," Brower said. "The impact in Greater Minnesota where the districts are already very large would have been especially difficult.”
It all goes to prove that everyone should fill out their census survey every 10 years. Just ask New York.