By Mallory Bateman
Today the first statistical release from the 2020 census was made public. This release includes the apportionment population and resident population counts for the nation and each state. 331,449,281 people lived in the United States on April 1, 2020 (resident population).
The state apportionment populations include both the resident population and the “overseas military and federal civilian employees and their dependents living with them who could be allocated to a home state.” The apportionment population determines the number of congressional seats each state receives.
Despite being the fastest-growing state throughout the decade (18.4%), Utah’s congressional delegation remains at four representatives because of the specifics of the seat allocation formula. The apportionment total for the state is 3,275,252, comprising 3,271,616 residents and 3,636 Utahns in military or federal civilian positions overseas. Fellow western states Wyoming and California had the lowest and highest apportionment populations, respectively.
Nationally, six states gained seven seats. A few Mountain West neighbors, Colorado, and Montana, each gained one seat. Texas (2), Oregon (1), Florida (1), and North Carolina (1) also gained seats. Seven states, including California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, lost one seat. With a few exceptions, these track with previous assessments, where research organizations made their best guesses at how congressional delegations might change. You can see how states have changed in the Census Bureau’s Historical Apportionment Data Map.
What has driven our growth throughout this decade? Natural increase, or births minus deaths, has decreased from prior decades. From April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2020, Utah’s natural increase was 330,489 (498,875 births and 168,386 deaths). Last decade, this number was over 380,000. Net migration has driven over one-third of our statewide growth this decade (177,242). Although higher than the net migration between 2000 and 2010 (28% of growth, just below 150,000), this decade’s change is slightly lower than between 1990 and 2000 (42% of growth, over 214,000).
The April 1, 2020 estimates from the Census Bureau and the Utah Population Committee were slightly lower than the decennial count. While an enumeration and an estimate are different, they were very close – within 0.36% for the UPC and 1.02% for the Census Bureau. More information on these differences will become available as intercensal estimate revisions take place.
The Census Bureau also released the first data quality metrics today, which provide insights into how we got the complete count in 2020. The immediacy of this second release at the state level is unprecedented.
While today’s releases are exciting, we will gain even more insights into how Utah’s population has grown and changed with the redistricting data release in August and September.
Mallory Bateman is a senior research analyst and Utah State Data Center coordinator at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.