Pa. electoral strength likely to change after 2020 census

    New analysis shows Pennsylvania is definitely on track to lose at least one of its 18 congressional districts — and one of its 20 electoral votes — when legislative maps are redrawn after the next census in 2020.

    Any changes to legislative boundaries are largely due to population shifts. Lower population means fewer districts.

    Nine states stand to lose at least one district after the census: Pennsylvania, Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

    But according to Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services, only two may be on track to lose more than that.

    He said the Keystone State is in a tenuous position, population-wise.

    “You guys are on that bubble of losing possibly two,” he said. “But so is Illinois. They’re going to lose one, and very possibly lose two.”

    Brace, who does these analyses every year, noted that this is part of a longstanding trend.

    “Most of the Northeast — the high point was at the turn of the century in 1900, 1910. And then it started going downward,” he said.

    Recent census estimates show Pennsylvania lost nearly 8,000 residents between 2015 and 2016 — its first population loss in decades.

    The potential changes wouldn’t affect the 2020 presidential election, as reapportionment will occur after that.

    The first effects would be felt in the 2022, and then in the presidential election in 2024.

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